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More EV Fast Chargers Coming To Canada

PetroCanada says it will construct a chain of DC fast chargers from coast to coast, Electrify Canada Is adding 32 chargers with up to 350 kW of power, and the Canadian government is funding the construction of 900 Level 3 chargers. The EV revolution is coming to Canada in a big way.

There are three bits of good news for EV drivers in Canada today.

First, PetroCanada announced it is building a network of DC fast chargers from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Vancouver, and every place in between. Why? “Keeping people moving is what we do, and we know that Canadians needs are evolving. We want to help you along your journey, which is why we are building a cross-Canada network of EV fast charge stations — to keep you moving toward what matters most to you,” the company says.

fast charging network Canada

Each charger will be equipped with both a CHAdeMO and a CCS charging cable. The first location is now open at 235 Steeles Ave. E. Milton, Ontario. The company will add other locations to its charging map as they become available for drivers to use. The first chargers will be free to use for a limited time.

Second, Electrify Canada, a subsidiary of Volkswagen similar to Electrify America, announced it is constructing 32 fast and ultra-fast charging stations in southern British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, according to a report by MobileSyrup. Each location will offer both CHAdeMO and CCS charging cables and a variety of powers from 50 kW to 150 kW — even up to 350 kW in some cases. The ultra-fast charges will utilize liquid-cooled charging cables to prevent overheating.

Construction of the first charging stations is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2019. Each installation is expected to cost about $500,000, according to Volkswagen Automotive Group Canada’s CEO Daniel Weisslans.

Both announcements have gotten the attention of Tesla owners on Reddit who are expressing concern that they will miss out on the best these new charging stations have to offer because of the CHAdeMO adapters they have to use to charge their cars. CHAdeMO limits charging power to 50 kW.

PetroCanada charger

After seeing a Tesla using a CHAdeMO adapter plugged into a PetroCanada charger, one Reddit user known as spongesqueeze offered this opinion: “The CCS incompatibility makes me real sad. I can’t believe Elon has allowed a situation which slows down EV adoption due to something as dumb as a connector. Come this far, and then not be able to charge where there is electricity? So crazy and sad.” The lack of common charging connections is definitely a factor that needs to be addressed. Model 3’s delivered to Europe come fitted with a CCS charging port. Why not in Canada and the US?

The third bit of news is that the Canadian government today announced funding for 900 Level 3 CHAdeMO and CCS chargers. The proposal also includes financial support for LNG and hydrogen fueling stations.

Remember just a short time ago when we used to talk about the “chicken or egg” conundrum for electric cars? Did we need more chargers to get more electric cars or more electric cars to get more electric chargers? Today, the pace of charging infrastructure installations is accelerating, as are electric cars sales. What we need now is interoperability between all chargers and all cars. Nobody carries around an adapter for the gasoline hose at the gas station — one for Ford, another for Chevy, a third for Japanese cars, and a fourth for German brands. That would be absurd. So is the current state of conflicting charging standards.

Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity, says automakers are flocking to wireless charging so they can avoid all the debate about CHAdeMO vs. CCS vs. Supercharger vs. Chinese standards. Look for our exclusive interview with Gruzen this weekend. Electric vehicle sales are rising. Charging infrastructure is increasing. Now we could use one common charging standard in order to bring it all together and put the EV revolution into overdrive.

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