TORONTO -- Ontario transportation officials say only about 40 per cent of the 500 electric vehicle charging stations the government said would be up and running by today are actually ready for use.

That's contrary to comments earlier this week from Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, who said two-thirds of the stations would be live by March 31 as promised.

A spokeswoman for the minister says the two-thirds will be ready "over the next number of weeks."

Andrea Ernesaks says some of the pending stations are awaiting final inspections or access is affected by construction near the charging stations.

The government made the 500 commitment last year, but Del Duca says there have been problems with about one-third of the network, including delays with permits and technical issues.

Ontario is putting $20 million into the charging stations to help address so-called range anxiety, an often-cited barrier to people purchasing electric vehicles because they worry about the distance the vehicle can travel.