Car plugged into wall charging unit
There is no extra fee for using the charging stations in the parking lots at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, though standard parking rates apply. (Photo: UHN FM-Pro team)

Drivers are getting a boost with the installation of 36 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at two UHN parking lots, increasing the infrastructure that enables the environmentally friendly leap to electric.

UHN now has 24 EV charging stations at the Toronto General Hospital's Elizabeth St. parking lot and another 12 at the Toronto Western Hospital's Leonard St. lot. There is no extra fee for using the stations, though standard parking rates apply.

These spaces are designated for EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) only. Non-electric vehicles are prohibited from parking in the spots and may be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense.

The Level 2 (208-240V; 6-20kW) EV charging stations are a collaborative project between the UHN FM-Pro team and Tesla Motors Canada ULC as part of the Tesla Destination Charging Program.

These charging stations are evenly distributed between staff and patient/visitor parking and enable all types of electric vehicles to charge. Though all manufactured by Tesla, the universal charging stations are recognizable by the much longer cord and by generic EV signage.

EVs, unlike typical combustion engine vehicles, generate no emissions. In Ontario, gas-powered transportation is responsible for the largest amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing climate change. They also create pollution that causes asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

"Switching to clean-air transportation creates a healthier environment for patients and the community," says Lisa Vanlint, Energy Steward with UHN's Energy & Environment Department.

"As a healthcare institution, it is our privilege and our duty."

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