Innovative Partnership Leads to the World’s…

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Posted on May 19, 2017

Innovative Partnership Leads to the World’s First Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre


Pictured from left; Jeffrey Lyash (Ontario Power Generation), Anthony Haines (Toronto Hydro), Hon. Glen Murray (Minister of Environment and Climate Change),Cara Clairman (Plug’n Drive), David Collie (Electrical Safety Authority), Don MacKinnon (Power Workers’ Union), Mike Rencheck (Bruce Power), Raymond Chun (TD Insurance).


A partnership in innovation among the leaders of various stakeholders in Ontario’s energy sector has produced the world’s first electric vehicle (EV) education and awareness centre in Toronto. The effort to create a facility dedicated to the acceleration of Ontario’s transition to emission free personal transportation was led by Plug ‘n Drive CEO Cara Clairman and supported by the Province of Ontario, the Power Workers’ Union, Bruce Power, Toronto Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, and the TD Bank Group.

The Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre (EVDC) is the first facility of its kind in the world, focused entirely on providing an experiential learning environment for electric vehicles. At the EVDC you can:

• Discover Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan and the role electric vehicles play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Discover the environmental and economic benefits of driving an electric vehicle
• Discover Ontario's electricity system
• Discover and test drive the latest electric vehicle models from leading manufacturers

The well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the EVDC on Wednesday, May 18.  Leaders from each of the partnering organizations spoke about the economic and environmental advantages coming to the people of Ontario through the electrification of the transportation sector.

Don MacKinnon, President of the Power Workers’ Union (PWU) and an original member of the Plug ‘n Drive Board of Directors, spoke of the PWU connection to this important initiative. “It’s a natural fit for our organization because our members work in the generation, transmission and distribution of Ontario’s low-carbon electricity. In order to meet the carbon emission targets set out by the federal government, electrification of most transportation in every major city in this country is essential.”   

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Adopting the use of EVs for personal road transportation can significantly reduce GHG emissions, particularly because Ontario has large urban centres, almost 8 million cars and a low-emitting electricity supply made up mostly of hydro and nuclear power.

The Ontario government aims to expand EV sales to 5 percent of all new vehicles sold by 2020. The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and spoke of the enormity of the carbon reduction challenge that the province is facing and the impact that this centre will have in accelerating the province’s adoption of EVs. 

The EVDC is located at 1126 Finch Ave. West (just west of Dufferin Ave.) in North York and is open to the public six days a week.
• Tuesday - Wednesday: 10 AM - 6 PM
• Thursday: 12 PM - 8 PM
• Friday: 10 AM - 6 PM
• Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM
• Sunday: 11 AM-5 PM

For more information about the EVDC please visit their website, plugndrive.ca.