Uber warns of higher prices and longer wait times following Toronto’s decision to freeze new licences issued under the pilot program, which took effect July 1st.
The move means the government may have to find some way of bringing the program’s projected 575,000 new electric vehicle drivers onto the road, which is not at all an easy task.
The company said in a statement that it “is committed to supporting the expansion of electric commercial vehicles, and is considering our options.” The company plans to “continue working with the Ontario government to ensure that Ontario and its business community are positioned to take advantage of this opportunity”.
A spokesperson for the Ontario government said it has no comment at this point.
The move follows Toronto’s decision to cancel its rollout of the pilot project, which had a target date of June 30th 2018.
Electric vehicle drivers would have been given new licences and, presumably, new vehicle registrations to use, but they wouldn’t have been permitted to take their new vehicles for a test drive until 2021 at the earliest.
The pilot was meant to help the city develop its strategy for electric vehicle adoption. The province had said that the pilot would help it learn how to set goals and establish standards that would be put into place by the government to guide electric vehicle adoption in Ontario.
That policy has since undergone revisions, but the province said that it still wants electric vehicle drivers to drive fewer than 30,000 miles a year, down from the previous target of 75,000, and to have their vehicles registered, which presumably would have meant the need for new registration fees.
The government is now talking about “incentives” to encourage more electric vehicle drivers to drive more. A spokesperson for the ministry said, “The government remains committed to electrifying Ontario’s transportation network as part of a comprehensive, integrated, long-term electric system.”
In terms of the long-term, the ministry is still consulting on what incentives it will offer to electric vehicle drivers who purchase their own vehicles, and will be looking at a variety of options over the course of the year, according to a spokesperson for the