Greg Karais charges up his Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle at the Flo charging station at the Yukon Centre Mall in Whitehorse. (Yukon News file)

Greg Karais charges up his Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle at the Flo charging station at the Yukon Centre Mall in Whitehorse. (Yukon News file)

Federal and Yukon governments introduce rebate to encourage electric vehicle charging

A new $1.8 million program aims to see 200 new charger stations in the territory over the next five years.

The federal government and the Yukon government are committing $1.8 million towards an incentive program to see more electric vehicle charging stations installed in the territory.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley made the announcement remotely via videocall on Jan. 31 alongside Energy, Mines and Resources Minister John Streicker.

“Ground vehicle transportation is critical to carrying people and goods to most of the communities in our territory. We have to find a way to preserve this vital link between our communities while reducing our emissions,” said Hanley.

The funding will be used as part of the “Good Energy” rebate for electric vehicle chargers. First Nations governments and municipalities can have up to 90 per cent of the costs of a Level-2 electric vehicle charger covered.

Businesses are being reimbursed by 75 per cent.

Streicker said the announcement is meant to encourage around 200 installations for Level 2 chargers. According to the department, install costs vary, but an upper estimate of $10,000 was used to configure the rebate.

“Many of these charges will be available for the public to use and will encourage Yukon residents to transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles for their daily commutes,” said Streicker. “It’s working here in the Yukon and we will happily demonstrate it to the rest of Canada.”

The territorial government’s Our Clean Future report has a target of 4,800 electrical vehicles on the road in 2030. By 2027 the government wants to install enough fast-charging stations to make it possible to travel between all road-accessible Yukon communities.

There are currently 129 electric vehicles registered in the Yukon, according to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.

A Level 2 charging station uses a higher-output 240-volt power source, meaning it can charge electric vehicles much faster than a Level 1 charger. Level 1 can charge a vehicle overnight, Level 2 in a few hours and Level 3 in about 30 minutes.

Right now there are five Level 3 fast-charging stations total. The stations are located in Marsh Lake, Haines Junction, Carcross and two in Whitehorse, in addition to 11 slower charging stations.

More Level 3 stations are in progress in Mayo, Dawson, Stewart Crossing, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Teslin and Watson Lake. Additional ones are planned for Faro, Ross River, Mendalhall, Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek.

Our Clean Future has a stated goal for electric vehicles to make up 10 per cent of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

Streicker acknowledged during the press conference that the Yukon is on a closed electricity grid, and currently meets peak demand for winter energy by burning diesel fuel. Yukon Energy has a 10-year plan to eliminate day-to-day reliance on diesel, which Streicker said factors in EV targets from Our Clean Future.

“They add that into their projections of the demands that they will see coming down. They add growth, they add potential mines [in their modelling],” he said. “Those are all part of thinking about the fact that we’re going to have more demand on our system as we transition our transportation network over to electricity.”

The federal funding is part of the larger “Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program” launched by Natural Resources Canada, which is contributing $1 million to the total. The Yukon government is contributing $800,000.

Contact Haley Ritchie at