green technology

Expanding Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Toronto

At the September meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, my colleagues and I discussed the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market and the need for infrastructure to support this green technology.

While the demand for EVs is increasing, the infrastructure for charging these vehicles is lagging behind. Public charging stations are often inconvenient for EV users who may have to leave their cars overnight to charge them and walk long distances to their homes.

In order to encourage the expansion of EV infrastructure in Toronto, I moved a motion requesting city staff to consider making EV stations a mandatory requirement under the Toronto Green Standard (TGS).

The TGS is a two-tier set of performance measures for sustainable site and building design. Tier 1 is required for all new construction in Toronto and tier 2 is a voluntary level of performance with a financial incentive. The TGS is important as it integrates environmental performance requirements to improve our air and water quality, reduce GHG emissions and lead to an overall healthier, more liveable city.

You can read my motion here.

Staff will be reporting back to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee this spring on a strategy to expand the number of EV charging stations throughout the city – stay tuned!

The Future of Autonomous Vehicles in Toronto

Autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles will soon be a reality on Toronto’s streets.

Earlier this spring, I requested Transportation Services draw up specific recommendations on how the City of Toronto and its various divisions can prepare for the arrival and expansion of autonomous vehicle technology.

As Chair of Public Works & Infrastructure, I want to make our city a leader in transportation planning and innovation.

Driverless cars could be available in North America in significant numbers as early as 2020. By 2030, up to 15 percent of new cars could be fully autonomous. As of January 1, 2016, Ontario became the first province in the country to allow companies to road test autonomous vehicles.

The introduction of autonomous vehicles into our society is going to bring new opportunities and new challenges – that’s why it’s imperative that Toronto make strategic decisions now to shape the changing technological future of our city.

You can read my motion by clicking here.

Staff will be reporting back to the Public Works & Infrastructure Committee by the end of this year, so stay tuned!