Good news for Canadian electric car drivers or soon-to-be electric car drivers. A new network of DC fast-charging stations has been announced to cover the Trans-Canada Highway in a currently underserved region between Ontario and Manitoba.
Interestingly, the stations will be equipped with energy storage systems in order to make sure it can deliver fast-charging even where there are grid limitations.
Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, commented on the announcement:
“Canada recognizes the key role electric vehicles will play in reducing emissions from the transportation sector. With more electric vehicles becoming available, we want to make them an easy choice for Canadians. This strategic investment brings us closer to having a national coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle charging stations while growing our economy and creating good jobs for Canada’s middle-class.”
The project, which is expected to cost CAD $17.3 million (USD $13.6 million) and is partially funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is a partnership between 3 energy storage companies: eCAMION, based in Toronto, Dallas-based Leclanché North America, part of Switzerland’s Leclanché SA and SGEM based in Geneva.
They describe the stations:
“At the core of each station will be FAST Charge’s state-of-the-art, energy storage system featuring advanced lithium-ion batteries with scalable capacity that will draw and store energy from the grid for use by charging units whenever required. Each station will have three charging units to allow three vehicles to be charged simultaneously.”
Unfortunately, they didn’t confirm the charge rate beyond confirming that it will be DC fast-charging – though they did say that it will support “level 3 or beyond”, whatever that means…
They plan to start manufacturing the systems during the first quarter of 2018 and start installing them as they are produced. They want the entire network to be online by the first quarter of 2019.
It should cover “a total distance of approximately 3,000 kilometers or 1,860 miles with the stations spaced approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) apart.”
The plan is reminiscent of what Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company plans on doing with the Supercharger network – saying that Tesla plans to disconnect ‘almost all’ Supercharger stations from the grid and go solar+battery.
That’s probably the strategy that Tesla will have to use if they also want to cover this region, but so far it doesn’t have many planned stations. Here are the Supercharger map (left) and other DC fast-charging station map (right) for the region: