November 13, 2020

EV Charger Funding: A How-To for Getting Government Funding for Electric Vehicle Chargers

The Need for Electric Vehicle Charging

Transportation makes up about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada today. If Canadians are to meet ambitious federal net-zero emissions goals, the adoption of zero emissions vehicles is a necessity. And eliminating emissions in the transportation sector will play a crucial role in our county’s goals for greenhouse gas reduction.

To support this, the federal government has set staggered targets for the rate of electric vehicle adoption Canada needs to meet. By 2025, 10% of all light duty vehicle sales are meant to be electric. This number rises to 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Barriers to Electric Vehicle Adoption

However, there are barriers to widespread electric vehicle adoption that need to be addressed.

The first is the cost of the vehicles themselves. However, with due to their cost and the perception of EVs as luxury vehicles, increased competition in the marketplace and industry titans such as Ford forecasting EVs to outsell internal combustion engines (ICE)s within the next decade, it is understandable that public sentiment doesn’t support the subsidization of EVs themselves. Federal and provincial governments have chosen to allocate funds for the promotion of electric vehicle adoption elsewhere.

The second barrier to EV adoption comes in the form of so-called “charging anxiety”. A belief prevails amongst consumers that there are not enough charging stations available to support the amount of driving that the average Canadian does. Though strides have been made, such as the completion of a coast to coast fast charging network, there is still much work that needs to be done to both make driving an EV hassle-free and allay consumer fears.

The federal government has made the decision to invest heavily in building out Canada’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure to further accelerate the rate of EV adoption.

What EV Charger Funding Is the Government Offering? 

Budget 2019 committed CA$130 million over five years (2019-2024) to deploy a network of Level 2 (or higher) zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling stations in “more localized areas where Canadians live, work and play.” This funding is being administered through the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). ZEVIP will fund up to 50% of the total project costs for the purchase and installation of EV chargers, with maximum funding dependent on the type of charger being installed.

Type of Charging StationMaximum Funding
Level 2 (208/240V)$5000 / connector
Level 3 (20 kW – 50kW)$15000 / station
Fast Charging station (>50kW)$50 000 / station

ZEVIP funding is released in multiples rounds per year, approximately every four months, with different applicants eligible for different rounds of funding. The current round of funding (which ends December 10, 2020) targets a wide variety of ultimate recipients to receive funding administered through a “third party delivery agent”. What this means is that funding is going to awarded to a Delivery Organization such as a provincial government or a not-for-profit organization. The funding will then be organized and administered to Ultimate Recipients from a range of applicant pools.

Who Is Eligible for EV Charger Funding?

Before getting into specifics of the application process, it is important to check the eligible applicants for each round of funding. Eligible Ultimate Recipients of the current round of funding include:

  • Electricity or gas utilities
  • Companies
  • Industry associations
  • Research associations
  • Standards organizations
  • Indigenous and community groups
  • Academic institutions
  • Provincial, territorial, regional, or municipal governments or their departments or agencies

How to Apply for EV Charger Funding

If your business, group, or institution falls into one of the above categories, there are still several criteria to meet to ensure funding is allocated to the project.

Total Chargers Submitted for Funding

For all but the (current) Third Party Delivery RFP, a minimum of 20 chargers must be submitted for funding. However, these chargers can be spread across multiple sites. For the current funding round (ending December 10, 2020), any amount of chargers can be submitted for funding.

The Merit and Rationale of the Project

To demonstrate the merit of the project, you must show that installing EV chargers at your site(s) makes charging more accessible to Canadians. After outlining the project rationale, you must also lay out:

  • A detailed timeline of the installation
  • Key milestones such as obtaining permits, signing contracts, and procuring equipment
  • Affirm that the installation will be commissioned and operational within 24 months of the funding decisions being announced (for this round, funding decisions are expected to be made in March 2021)
  • A detailed budget for the project demonstrating that no more than 75% of the funding for the project is coming from government sources.
    • For this third-party delivery round, federal funding is also capped at $100,000/project

Other information your application needs in order to be approved include:

  • Proof of incorporation or registration
  • Proof of 50% secured funding of the proponent’s share of total project cost
  • Proof of engagement with energy suppliers
  • Proof of access to site

Why You Should Apply for EV Charger Funding

The ZEVIP program is a valuable method to increase the availability of charging stations across Canada and help drive EV adoption. It is also a great way to futureproof existing buildings and current developments for the coming electric vehicle wave. If the trend continues, those numbers of 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 are certain to be exceeded and that is a lot cars that need chargers. This funding is only slated to be available until 2024 or until the 130-million-dollar pot has been used up. If a building is in construction now or newly constructed, it is much easier to prepare early and take advantage of funding than be left stranded in the end.

 Interested in learning more about the government funding available for outfit your business or organization with EV chargers? Get in touch with our Renewable Energy Specialist, Matt, for more information.

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