The Government of Canada has announced that it is investing $100,000 in a travelling electric vehicle (EV) discovery and awareness building program.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced the funding to Plug’n Drive, a not-for-profit organization. The funding supports the launch of the Mobile EV Education Trailer (MEET), a mini-discovery centre on wheels for national EV education and outreach.
The program is also notes participation by Hydro One Networks, Ontario Power Generation, Power Workers’ Union, Call2Recycle, City of Ottawa as well as BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Kia, Volvo and other organizations.
The MEET will provide access to test drives and raise EV awareness in communities by educating consumers about the economic and environmental benefits of driving an EV. Launched in October in Ottawa, the MEET will spend a few months in the IKEA Ottawa parking lot before travelling across Canada to reach communities that may not have been exposed to EVs as a transportation option.
“Our goal at Plug’n Drive is to break down the barriers to widescale EV adoption,” said Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug’n Drive. “The MEET takes EV education on the road to engage Canadians around the far-reaching benefits of electrified transportation.”
To mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the MEET operates outdoors on an appointment-only basis with other protective measures in place: all staff and visitors must wear masks, six feet physical distancing is practiced and all touched surfaces are disinfected between appointments.
“Plug’n Drive is a great way to raise awareness about electric vehicles and help Canadians get to where they need to go with fewer emissions,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.
Federal funding for this initiative is provided through Natural Resources Canada as part of its programming to raise zero-emission vehicle awareness and support Canadians with cutting-edge, interactive decision-making tools on the new and most-efficient vehicle technologies available.
This investment reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and supports its goal to reach 100 percent of passenger zero-emission vehicle sales by 2040.
The government has provided over $300 million to support the establishment of a coast-to-coast network of fast chargers for EVs and natural gas and hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as research, development and demonstration of next-generation charging technologies and the development of enabling codes and standards. These investments will help ensure that Canadians can drive and reliably charge their vehicles across Canada.
The government is also offering a purchase incentive of up to $5,000 and a full tax write-off for businesses purchasing zero-emission vehicles.
The MEET’s first stop is Ottawa. Launched in early October, it will remain on-site at IKEA Ottawa (2685 Iris St.) until November 29, 2020 and will soon be travelling across Canada. More information about the MEET can be found at: plugndrive.ca/meet.