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Charging forward

It just got easier to reduce motorists’ cross country carbon footprints. Last month Suncor brand Petro-Canada completed its national (B.C. to Nova Scotia) electric vehicle (EV) network.

With more than 50 sites located from the Rockies to the Atlantic region, each location features DC fast chargers with both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors supporting a wide range of vehicles. The chargers can provide up to a 200-kilowatt charge; enough to deliver an 80% fill to most EVs in less than 30 minutes. Suncor worked with the Government of Canada that anted up $4.6 million to assist the project.

 With more than 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in Canada and an average of 4,000 EVs added each month, we know that this is an important step in meeting the current and future driving needs of Canadians,” says Suncor President and CEO Mark Little speaking about the company’s Canadas Electric Highway initiative.We want to be part of the total solution to meet energy demand and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation system.”

Canada’s Electric Highway adds to the infrastructure already implemented or planned by major auto manufacturers, such as Tesla and VW.

Unknown-1For example, Electrify Canada, a  subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, has broken ground on its new national EV fast-charging network with the construction of its first location near Toronto in the Halton Hills area. The company is also partnering with Canadian Tire to create 20 EV sites to complement the retailer’s existing charging network that was developed in conjunction with FLO EV.

VW’s EV station can support charging between 50 and 350 kW. Built by ClearBlue Technologies of Toronto, plans will see as many as 32 locations constructed over the coming months in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. 

images-1All will sport CCS and CHAdeMO charging ports that are compatible with almost all models of EVs. Tesla uses its own proprietary charger, but offers kits to connect their cars to these kinds of stations. Currently, Tesla offers 64 active chargers in Canada, with 23 under construction and 11 in the approval phase. This compares to almost 700 in the US.

According to Robert Barrosa, COO of Electrify Canada, the Halton Hills site is the first step toward building out EV charging infrastructure that will make low carbon electric vehicles more practical for buyers.

With new membership plans, competitive pricing and a mobile app that makes charging with us easier than ever, we are confident that a growing number of consumers will consider making their next vehicle purchase an EV,” says Barrosa.

 Volkswagen’s Electrify Canada station includes four charging stands that use cooled-cable technology to enable fast charging, with room to build more as demand ramps upwardChargers will be intuitive, as well as informative, with 15-inch touch screen displays and credit card readers. To make things even easier Electrify Canada will be launching an app that will allow users to manage the charging session from their mobile device. App features include a station locator, payment function, and session tracking capability. Chargers are up to eight feet high to provide easier vehicle charge port access. 

Currently, Canada has about 95,000 electric vehicles (battery and battery/hybrid) and some 6000 EV charging sites with the majority in Quebec, B.C. and Ontario.


Electric Vehicle Charging Sign Lg_112917

Couche-Tard expands testing of electric vehicle charging in Europe

Electric Vehicle Charging Sign Lg_112917As the future of mobility evolves, so too does Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. The global retailer is continuing to expand its network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Europe to meet consumers’ changing mobility needs.

To date, the Laval-based convenience store operator has opened nearly 150 EV charging stations at its Circle K locations in Europe. The plan is to top more than 200 stations by the end of this fiscal year, President and CEO Brian Hannasch said during Couche-Tard’s fourth-quarter fiscal year 2019 earnings call, held July 10.

At these Circle K locations, Couche-Tard has redesigned the food offering and store layouts in order to drive more customers into the store and encourage larger basket purchases while customers are waiting for their EV charging to be completed.

“Small locations have a handful of speed chargers, while we also have opened the first Circle K highway locations with large charge parks offering up to 20 and 30 speed chargers at the same locations,” Hannasch reported.

Since at least last year, Couche-Tard has been testing the new mobility offering in Europe. It also designated Norway as a laboratory for testing different approaches to the changing fuels market, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

As of April 28, Couche-Tard’s network in North America comprised 9,866 convenience stores, including 8,629 stores with fuel. Its North American network consists of 19 business units, including 15 in the United States covering 48 states and four in Canada covering all 10 provinces. In addition, through CrossAmerica Partners LP, Couche-Tard supplies road transportation fuel under various brands to approximately 1,300 locations in the U.S.

In Europe, Couche-Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia through 10 business units. As of April 28, Couche-Tard’s European network comprised 2,709 stores.

In addition, under licensing agreements, more than 2,150 stores are operated under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories, which brings the worldwide total network to more than 16,000 stores.

Originally published at Convenience Store News.