Knowledge CentreTechnical ProjectsCurbside Charging for Electric Vehicles: Synthesis of Practice

Curbside Charging for Electric Vehicles: Synthesis of Practice

Municipalities support vehicle electrification and have an interest in directly or indirectly removing barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Access to charging is one of several key EV barriers faced by individuals and families.

The EV charging ecosystem includes public curbside and off-street charging, private residential off-street charging, and off-street charging along intercity highways and at destinations. Curbside charging is most needed in downtowns and commercial areas, near multi-family dwellings, and in neighbourhoods with few private driveways; its provision involves multiple stakeholders and the balancing of multiple objectives.

Municipalities are independently developing practices around the provision and management of curbside EV charging, which competes for on-road space with cycling facilities, bus lanes, loading zones, restaurant patios, long-term residential parking, and short-term destination parking. They would benefit from a comprehensive review of Canadian needs and Canadian/international experiences, and from the identification and explanation of effective curbside charging practices suited to different contexts.


The project would explore key issues and effective practices related to curbside EV charging in Canadian environments. Priority topics to be addressed would be selected by the project funders, but may include:

  • Ownership models – public, private
  • Financial – key cost items and typical ranges, strategies for managing costs, cost recovery
  • Market – estimating demand, ensuring equity of access, choosing appropriate charging level
  • Siting – priority locations, access, security
  • Design and technology – dimensions, identification, safety, accessibility, illumination
  • Utilities – engagement, requirements, electrical supply, resiliency
  • Consultation – scope/nature of processes
  • Approvals – nature, timelines
  • Regulation – hours, eligibility/restrictions, fees
  • Operation – enforcement, charger maintenance, winter maintenance
  • Branding – identity, advertisements
  • Geographic considerations – smaller municipalities, colder climates, off-grid charging

Project tasks would include a literature scan, a survey of Canadian municipalities, a survey of other stakeholders and technical associations, and an online workshop with key survey respondents.

The final deliverable would be a report that:

  • Provides a concise overview of EV charging in general (e.g. levels, features, specifications, users and use cases) and the role of curbside charging
  • Explains the rationale behind the priority topics for curbside charging
  • For each topic, provides a summary of experiences, challenges and opportunities, principles for different contexts, options and examples


Focus Area:Mobility

Project Summary

In Development
Last Updated:
May, 2023
Responsible Council / Committee:
Mobility Council / Mobility Management Committee
Expected Duration:
18 months
Total Funding Estimate:
Staff Contact:Geoff Noxon