OCAF Celebrates the Launch of the Ottawa Community Housing Electric Vehicle Car Sharing Program

Ottawa is on the road to making electric vehicles available to communities that need them most with the launch of an electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program accessible to five Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) communities in the urban core located between Little Italy and Chinatown and puts electric cars within easy reach to about 500 residents.

This program is made possible by  funding from the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (an initiative of OCF), and Hydro Ottawa in partnership with OCH and Communauto.

Cars running on gasoline and diesel currently account for 42 per cent of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions.

People in lower-income communities often can’t afford a car, and they can’t always get where they need to go by foot, bike, or transit. Carsharing helps, and EVs make a very good option even better: they’re 94 percent emissions free, and cheaper to own and operate than fossil fuel vehicles.

“This essential project brings Carbon Down via the shift to electric vehicles and by advancing carsharing to reduce car ownership and total kilometres driven,” said OCAF Executive Director Steve Winkelman. “It brings Community Up by providing EV access to OCH residents and reducing the costs for vehicle ownership, operation and parking.” 

It will make a fully-electric Kia Niro available to OCH residents at 811 Gladstone Ave., where the car will be parked, and at 865 Gladstone Ave., 280 Rochester St. S., and 22 and 28 Balsam St. Residents will also be able to use the other 200 vehicles in the Communauto carsharing fleet across Ottawa.

“This innovative public-private-philanthropic collaboration advances equitable access to electric vehicles and makes carsharing an even more convenient option for OCH residents,” said OCF President and CEO Marco Pagani. “As it grows, the project is poised to provide more space for housing people and less for parking cars.”

“In order to meet the City’s ambitious climate change targets, we must come together as a city to look at new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said OCH Board Chair Mathieu Fleury. “This program will address this need as well as provide a sustainable way for low-income residents to access the services and supports they need. It’s a win-win.”

EV carsharing in the news:

CBC News: Sharable car gives OCH tenants a new way to get around town

CBC All In A Day: New electric car share coming to Ottawa Community Housing development

CTV News: Ottawa Community Housing residents will have access to an electric car

Le Droit: Auto électrique partagée: une première au sein d’un complexe de logements abordables en Ontario

Photo: Lindsay Ralph Photography

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