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The Trudeau government spent millions subsidizing the installation of 34 electric vehicle charging stations across Canada’s three territories, which will service the seven electric vehicles in the region. 

“There are currently 34 public electric vehicle chargers in the territories to service the seven electric vehicles representing a ratio of less than one electric vehicle to charger,” wrote the Department of Natural Resources to the Senate national finance committee.

The federal government says the charging infrastructure will make it easier for people to transition to electric cars.

“This indicates the number of public chargers available have capacity to support electric vehicle adaptation for local travel,” the department wrote. “Furthermore chargers are found in the same areas as the battery electric vehicles except for Nunavut, where all the cars are plug-in hybrid cars.”

The Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program funded the initiative to deploy electric vehicle chargers and hydrogen refuelling stations across Canada.

The Department of Environment tallied up a bill of $680 million spent in government subsidies to introduce charging stations nationally in its 2023 Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement. 

The cost of Canada’s electric vehicle program overall has now totaled at least $99 billion, excluding direct subsidies to manufacturers, according to Blacklock’s Reporter

The department did not specify where the charging stations are located within the three territories, which account for 3.9 million square kilometres of land. What is known however, is that despite the installation of new chargers in the arctic, one of the major pitfalls of EVs is having poor performances in colder climates.

The federal government committed $280 million to the Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program in its 2019 and 2020 Fall Economic Statement over five years to install 33,500 public EV chargers and 10 hydrogen refuelling stations.

The government topped up its funding to the program with an additional $400 million in 2022 before extending the program to March, 2027. Canada’s Infrastructure Bank also spent $500 million to support large-scale zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling infrastructure. 

The current zero-emission vehicle infrastructure targets are slated to install 84,500 chargers and 45 hydrogen stations by 2029.

Despite the billions in subsidies to aid the transition of making EVs the dominant mode of transportation, sales continue to drop.

The Trudeau government’s mandate to require all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in Canada to be zero-emission by 2035 struggles as consumer interest has been steadily in decline this year. 

While EVs sold relatively well last year, so far in 2024, they’re now selling at half the rate of 2023, lagging behind gas-powered vehicles. 

According to Fraser Institute’s director of natural resource studies Elmira Aliakbari and policy analyst Julio Mejia, this should be cause for concern.

“The sluggish demand for EVs and the response from automakers should raise red flags for both the Trudeau government and Biden administration, given the massive subsidies (a.k.a. corporate welfare) injected into the EV and battery production industry,” they wrote in a recent op-ed. 

“The EV transition faces major obstacles, and the recent scaling back or delays in EV production by automakers should serve as a warning to governments about the feasibility of their forced transition policies, which clearly put Canadian taxpayers at risk.”