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Gas vehicles to be phased out in Canada by 2035. Will you be able to charge near your home?

With the federal government phasing out the sale of gas vehicles by 2035, and more electric models hitting the streets of Toronto, some drivers are wondering where and when they will be able to charge their vehicles.

Damon Runyan lives on a residential street in the east end. Outside his door is one of 50 charging stations installed across Toronto by the city.

“I don’t think just having two stations on a street is actually going to help anyone,” Runyan said. “It’s going to be overcrowded. I don’t know how they can mandate that, it seems a little advanced.”

Even before the announcement to wind down gas vehicles, the City of Toronto started developing its public electric vehicle charging strategy, which included gathering information on where, when, and how much people need to charge EVs in a survey – and also looking at the role of the private sector.

“It’s not going to be the government providing all that charging, there’s going to be a case for the private sector,” James Nowlan, executive director of Toronto’s environment and climate division, told CTV News Toronto.

Nowlan said the federal mandate helps take out the guesswork of what’s to come and makes a business case for new apartment buildings and condos to install chargers.

Currently, Toronto has 1 million vehicles on the road, with just over 20,000 of those being electric, so many more charging stations will eventually be needed.

READ MOREGas-powered cars and trucks to be phased out by 2035: federal government

In addition to private chargers at malls and workplaces, and the ones in city-run parking lots, Nowlan said there will be more than 150 charging stations on Toronto streets by the end of next year.

Because it’s a federal mandate, the government will have to support infrastructure to make the transition happen, while considering older vehicles, Teresa Di Felice with the Canadian Automobile Association, said.

“You’re still going to need gas stations in 2035, while you’re also going to need an extensive public charging network and ensure when it comes to home charging, whether in a building or house, you’ve put the parameters in place,” Di Felice said.

While there are many factors to consider, eventually the standards for charging will be worked out with provinces and municipalities, she said.

The city said the survey on electric charging stations has now closed, but input can still be provided by emailing transformto@toronto.ca.

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