U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joins Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and IBEW Member Bill Baisden to announce the first Binational Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor. Photo retrieved from U.S. DOT.

EV Charging Between Canada & The US? Enjoy The New Binational EV Corridor

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Canada and the US have announced a collaborative alternative fuel network, to be called the Binational EV Corridor, which is designed to assure EV drivers from both countries that they’ll have easy, reliable charging when travels take them across the border.

Both countries have committed to harmonize charging standards and develop interrelated alternative fuel corridors, drawing on $7.5 billion in the US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $1.2 billion (CA) in Canadian funding to build a network of EV fast chargers and community charging options on both sides of the boundary lines.

The endeavor reinforces the two countries’ long-term partnership, which “is based on a mutual commitment to shared security, shared prosperity, and shared democratic values, including the importance of fighting climate change and an abiding respect for human rights and the rule of law,” Canada Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said during a joint announced that he and US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg released this past week.

The corridor runs from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Québec City, Québec. It passes along these routes:

  • I-94 highway, through the tunnel in Detroit to the Canadian side of the border;
  • Highway 401, through Toronto;
  • Highway 20 in Montréal; and,
  • Highway 40 through Québec City.

The corridor will have EV charging infrastructure installed every 50 miles (80 km) and will include at least one DC fast charger with Combined Charging System (CCS) ports. There will be 215 stations distributed along Canadian highways: 61 stations from Detroit to Toronto within 6 km of the highway as well as 154 stations from Toronto to Québec City within 6 km of the highway.

“Canada and the United States have built the world’s largest market-based energy trading relationship, which provides a firm foundation as we strive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions,” Canada’s Alghabra continued in the announcement. “This first cross-border alternative fuel corridor will help drivers to travel across the border and charge or refuel worry-free. It contributes to bringing us another step closer to making our air cleaner while helping people save money on traditional fuels.”

The US Side of the Binational EV Corridor

Buttigieg said this project helps make zero-emissions vehicles more affordable and charging more accessible where people live, work, and play.

“The US and Canada have long enjoyed a productive partnership on transportation issues and, in that spirit, we are proud to announce the first-ever US-Canada EV Corridor,” Buttigieg said in the statement. “With historic investments in (EV) infrastructure from the Biden-Harris administration and the Canadian government, we are creating a new generation of good paying manufacturing jobs, making it possible for drivers everywhere to reap the benefits and savings of these vehicles while helping us fight climate change.”

The US DOT website adds that the agreement will tap into the 75,000+ miles of Alternative Fuel Corridors in the US.

Spending time in Detroit for the official announcement, Buttigieg also hosted a conversation at the APEC summit about ensuring that the benefits of an EV future reach all communities — from where federally-funded chargers are located to how they are financed.

The designation of Alternative Fuel Corridors has grown in importance because it is now tied to funding provisions under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The BIL established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, both of which provide eligibility based on Alternative Fuel Corridor designations.

In the US, this national network will:

Canadian Efforts = Full Buy-In of Transportation Electrification

In Canada, one in ten new vehicles purchased is already a zero-emission vehicle. The Binational EV Corridor will facilitate the movement of passengers and goods through this key economic binational corridor and will help Canada to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The federal government says on-road transportation accounts for 23% of Canada’s total GHG emissions.

Transport Canada officials explain that this corridor represents one of the busiest passenger and trade routes between the two countries. It is also a hub for vehicle manufacturing and a key component of Canada’s national transportation system, connecting major cities, ports, airports, railways, and highways.

Canada will continue to increase capacity along this corridor and will work to enable future alternative fuel corridors as well. Promoting growth in the automotive sector of the future and supporting the shift to a net zero economy has the potential to have significant benefits for Canadian workers and the Canadian economy.

In support of the government’s objective of adding 50,000 new zero emission vehicle (ZEV) chargers to Canada’s network, Budget 2022 also provided an additional $900 million to Natural Resources Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to continue deploying zero emission vehicle infrastructure. Budget 2022 delivered an additional $1.7 billion to extend the government’s purchase incentive program until March 2025, and to expand the types of vehicle models eligible under the program, which would include more vans, trucks, and SUVs.

The collective footprint of Canada’s public EV charging networks has grown by almost one-third since the start of 2022. This is according to national data collected by Electric Autonomy for an annual tally of public EV charger installations in Canada.

As of March 1, 2023, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) data show another period of significant growth in Canada. EV drivers had access to at least 20,478 charging ports located at 8,732 charging station locations across the country. In all, 16,579 ports (7,549 stations) are Level 2 chargers, while 3,899 ports (1,483 stations) are DC fast chargers.

This growth in ports represents a 30% increase since December 31, 2021. At the end of 2021, by comparison, there were 12,585 Level 2 charging ports and 3,138 DC fast charger ports. The current totals translate into a 31.7% increase in Level 2 chargers and a 24.6% increase in DC fast chargers in 14 months.

Trying to figure where you can charge on the way to or from Canada? Check out this Electric Charging and Alternative Fueling Stations Locator.

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Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn Fortuna, PhD, is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavey Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla and an owner of a 2022 Tesla Model Y as well as a 2017 Chevy Bolt. Please follow Carolyn on Substack: https://carolynfortuna.substack.com/.

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