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Toronto’s EV fleet could make up to 20 per cent of its electricity consumption

Toronto’s EV fleet could make up to 20 per cent of its electricity consumption

Electric vehicle rebate among staff proposals to speed up Toronto’s target to become a carbon neutral city.

Last June, the City officially proposed a goal to become a carbon neutral city by 2050, and Toronto was one of the first municipalities to make the pledge and, in early 2015, City council adopted the target. Now, a proposal by staff to get the city’s vehicle fleet to make up to 20 per cent of its electricity consumption when it enters full-service mode could be the next step in moving the goal closer to reality.

In a document that was posted on the city’s website Thursday, staff recommended that electric vehicles be required to meet a minimum energy requirement (MET) that is equivalent to 15 per cent of the city’s peak demand when operating at its electric vehicle fleet’s energy use rate (EUR) during peak hours. Under the proposed new requirement, the MET would be calculated using the electricity demand growth forecast in the City’s Electric Fleet Plan, and the City would use the highest EUR for vehicles with an energy rating of either 200 or 250.

The move could result in a cost savings for the agency, the document says, since it would require only the highest energy rating with the smallest EUR for vehicles operating at its maximum rate.

“The proposal is to maintain vehicle fleet compliance with the 15 per cent requirement, but reduce the required energy levels on the vehicles,” says the staff report.

City staff estimated that the switch from combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs) would save about $2 million per year in electricity costs alone.

“We will need to work with and obtain additional cost savings from the City’s other existing modes of transportation,” says the document.

The idea of requiring EVs to meet the minimum energy requirement has not been considered elsewhere in Canada; other large cities have been more stringent, requiring vehicles to meet an average energy level of 35–40 per cent of their maximum demand.

In Toronto, the largest vehicle fleet is taxis, whose energy consumption has tripled since 2015, with the introduction of new charging stations in the city centre.

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