Ontario's new 7 billion dollar climate change plan adds additional support for electric vehicles with a new target of 5% electric for all new vehicles sold in Ontario by 2020, and 12% by 2025. These targets are very realistic, but a little bit too conservative. In 2009 when the Ontario government set up their original EV incentive program they had an ambitious target that was ultimately missed by a large margin. It is understandable and even reasonable that they don't want to repeat the same mistake, however we're in a vastly different market now and these new targets seem a little... inconsequential. in 2009 when the announcements were made there was no charging network, almost no electric vehicles on sale at the dealers and most people were just seeing the Tesla Roadster and what it could do, but they were not thinking about electric as a possibility for themselves.
Today every major automotive company has an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid that is highway capable. There is a significant charging network in Toronto and with the help of the Government of Ontario, Tesla, VerNetwork, and others, it's growing quickly. The range available is approaching useful for everyone. By 2020, Tesla's model 3 will be in full swing production, the Chevy Bolt will be fully established, Nissan's leaf will be in the 300+km range and every other manufacturer will have at least one fully electric vehicle available in Canada. Now all this on it's own may not seem like quite enough to make the Ontario's target seem lackluster, but add in the fact that they are considering all plug-in hybrids in this number and you start to see that their target is more of a prediction of what's to come than something they really need to work at. By comparison the most ambitious country, Norway, has seen electric vehicles make up 22% of new vehicle sales. By 2025 they want to phase out diesel and gasoline from cars. The image below from the International Energy Agency shows how Canada stacks up to other countries. If you would like to take a closer look at it, you can do so here.
Of course there are plenty of reasons why Canadians have been slow to adopt, one of which is that it is very difficult to buy electric as very few dealers actually carry them. This doesn't negate the fact that we are nowhere near a leader in this industry.
So what's my point? It's fantastic that Ontario has been making an effort to promote and support electric vehicles, it just seems that there is a lack of ambition from the top to see us be one of the global leaders, which is a change for the worse in our position from since 2009.