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The Fine Print

Repeal the Ontario Electric Vehicle Licensing Ban


Ontario's Ban on Electric Cars

Success!!! The Ban on EV Conversions is Over!!!

Yesterday (June 7, 2010), Electric Mobility Canada sent out an e-mail advising its Ontario members that MTO has lifted the ban, and has implemented an interim solution for the licensing of electric vehicle conversions. That e-mail read (in part):

"Dear EMC Ontario members,

"I am pleased to announce that following consultations with officials at the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) I have been advised by MTO this morning that the temporary moratorium on the registration of internal combustion engine vehicles converted to EVs in Ontario has been lifted.

"Effective today, converted vehicles can be registered as EVs at the following 3 locations:
* In Ottawa at the Laurier Avenue licence office
* In Toronto at the College Park licence office
* In Toronto North York at the Yonge and Sheppard vehicle office.

"To register, please bring along the vehicle safety standard certificate provided by an authorized garage.

"At the vehicle licence office, you will need to sign a declaration to the effect that the vehicle has been converted to EV operation.

"Upon registration, MTO will issue a decal for placement on the vehicle. This decal will alert first responders that the vehicle is an EV.

"EMC is appreciative of MTO’s collaboration in this important area.

"Further to the above, EMC has agreed to work with MTO in developing guidelines to define appropriate safety requirements for EV conversions. And, through MTO, EMC will work with the MTO counterparts in other provincial and territorial jurisdictions to achieve national consensus on such guidelines. When this process begins, EMC will involve its interested members."

If the Ottawa or Toronto locations are not convenient to you, I suggest you contact MTO or ServiceOntario directly to see what arrangements can be made to assist you in registering your converted electric vehicle.

Based on this communication, there is no longer any need to protest to the Minister or other government officials about this issue. However, communications to those officials of thanks for attending to the matter in a reasonable fashion will undoubtedly carry shock value (in a good way).

Now, let's get busy and put some more zero-emissions EVs on the road. If you are doing a conversion, you have until June 30, 2010 to qualify for the retail sales tax rebate. (Rumour has it that conversions will not qualify for any incentives under the new rules starting on July 1st with the advent of the HST in Ontario.)


Additional Material from MTO

I have not been able to find a press release from MTO related to this subject.

Their original link at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/index.shtml#conversions (that worked yesterday) seems to have disappeared. The text that was there:

"Electric vehicle (EV) conversions CAN be operated on roads in Ontario.

"Ontario is reviewing registration and safety requirements for vehicles that have been converted to electric power. In the interim, the following registration rules apply. Please note that these rules may change in the future.

"EV conversions are:
• Road worthy vehicles that have been converted from an internal combustion engine (gasoline) to an electric power engine.
• Powered exclusively by an electric battery.
• Not equipped or powered by an internal combustion engine or any other method.

"To register an EV conversion in Ontario, you will need the following:
• A completed EV Conversion Declaration form (PDF).
• A valid Safety Standards Certificate (SSC) completed after the conversion date.
• A vehicle permit if the vehicle is already registered in Ontario; or appropriate vehicle registration documents.
• Two EV conversion decals (pictured below) which must be affixed to the front windshield and rear window of the vehicle. The decals will be provided at the Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office.

"An EV conversion may only be registered at the following three Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Offices:
• College Park (Toronto) – 777 Bay Street, Toronto, M7A 2J3
• Downtown Ottawa – 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, K1P 1J1
• North York (Toronto) – 47 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, M5W 1G9"

MTO's EV Conversions FAQs (for the new rules as of 2010.06.07)

PDF file of the MTO Electric Vehicle Conversion Declaration form

Image of the Electric Vehicle Conversion decal (JPG)

(The remainder of this page is left in place for historical purposes.)

The Issue

In early February 2010, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) began a secret campaign to refuse new registrations of electric cars in the province. As a result, Ontarians cannot qualify for the only incentive Ontario offers individuals for putting an electric car on the road today - a rebate of the Retail Sales Tax (but only up to $1,000.00). That incentive expires on June 30, 2010, with the introduction of the HST. We have looked for new rules, regulations or written policy to justify recent actions, and have found none.

“I’m sure there were good reasons at one time to prevent electric cars from being on Canadian roads, but we’ve got to find a way to ensure that our regulations don’t become an impediment from doing what’s right for the environment.”
- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
- [Dead link: http://www.wheels.ca/article/28744] reported June 19, 2007

Electric vehicles have been operating on Ontario roads for more than 100 years, without significant issues in safety, use or licensing.

- Ontario's Office of the Premier
[dead link: http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/news/event.php?ItemID=459&Lang=EN] dated January 15, 2009

Despite repeated requests for written policy justifying the unannounced moratorium, none has been produced by MTO officials. Instead, a series of contradictory excuses has been handed out to would be registrants on a a one-by-one basis. Calls to ServiceOntario continue to get the response that there is no reason electric cars cannot be registered in Ontario, based on laws and regulations in effect today.

“Electric vehicles are the way to go in Ontario.”
- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
- reported July 15, 2009

Up until the unannounced licensing ban was imposed by MTO, electric vehicles were subject to exactly the same mechanical safety inspections as any other vehicles in Ontario. MTO officials remain unswayed, and have continued refusing registrations of electric vehicles. MTO officials prefer to call the current practice a moratorium. However, a moratorium implies the practice will stop at a defined time in the future. MTO officials are not committed to re-instating registrations for electric vehicle conversions, and certainly not by a defined date. Therefore, the current practice is not a moratorium, but a ban. (This ban does not apply to electric-assist bicycles, as they are not licensed for road use by the provincial government.)

“The McGuinty government's plan is to have one out of every 20 passenger vehicles on Ontario's roads (be) an electric vehicle by 2020. Green licence plates will encourage Ontarians to think green when choosing a vehicle.”
- Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley
- reported November 4, 2009

A number of forward-thinking Ontarians, unwilling to wait for the automakers to deliver an electric car for sale after more than 40 years of promises, and thinking Premier McGuinty and MTO would support their initiative based on public statements made by the Premier and Minister, have made their own electric cars. This is an expensive undertaking, and now their personal investments in a better environment are in limbo.

Will the McGuinty government's 'green car' talk end up on the trash heap like their commitment to close all coal-fired generation in the province by 2007? Probably, unless Ontarians speak up and demand that the secret ban on electric cars in Ontario be repealed immediately!

What You Can Do

Write to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne and your MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) telling them:

YOU want clean-air electric vehicles legalized again NOW!

Contact Information for Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

[dead link: https://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp?Lang=EN] "E-mail" via Web page

Fax: (416) 325-3745 TTY: 1-800-387-5559

Climate Change Impact

Electric Mobility Canada backgrounder

Ontario Electrical Grid Impact

Electric Mobility Canada backgrounder

EV History

The first car operated in Ottawa, Ontario was an electric car. It was brought to Ottawa by Thomas Ahearn in 1899. Thomas Ahearn was also the inventor of the electric stove, a founder of the Ottawa Hydro-electric Company (now Hydro Ottawa), and the company Ahearn & Soper, still operating in Ottawa. Thomas Ahearn, electric car owner, inventor, innovator, community leader, job creator. Couldn't Ontario use some more electric car owners now?

As for the larger history of electric vehicles, there is no point in reproducing it here. The best source of free information on electric vehicle history on the Web is here:

Econogics EV History pages

If you have related information you would like to share, please send me an e-mail.

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