Realizing like Tesla that electric vehicle acceptance depends largely on the ability for drivers to easily find a charging station and charge the battery in a short enough amount of time, Volkswagen Group Canada has just launched “Electrify Canada,” a new company that will build an ultra-fast direct current (DC) charging network for electric vehicles across the country. It’s scheduled to become accessible in the spring of 2019—and not just for Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche owners.
There will be 32 charging stations at first, located in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta near major highways and in large metropolitan areas. Each charging site will have four chargers on average and use the non-proprietary DC fast charging technologies (CCS and CHAdeMO).
Volkswagen says these stations will deliver 50 kilowatts of charging power to support today’s electric vehicles. For the expected longer-range, larger-battery vehicles coming to market, charging power will range from 150-350 kilowatts.
“The Canadian electric vehicle market is growing, creating a great need for charging that is fast, convenient and available in key locations,” said Daniel Weissland, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group Canada, Inc. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this service and to take a leadership position in providing this key EV adoption enabler to the Canadian market.”
In addition to handling the rollout of the charging network, Electrify Canada will manage regular operations. The new limited-partnership company based in Ajax, ON, will engage with local vendors to locate, build and operate the charging stations. We’re told to expect a comprehensive, technologically advanced and customer-friendly solution. In fact, ongoing customer service will be provided to help and support electric car drivers—once again, regardless of their choice of manufacturer.
For the record, approximately 20,000 electric vehicles were sold in Canada last year. According to Navigant Research, a market analysis firm, sales will grow at a compounded annual rate of 29 percent to reach about 140,000 units in 2026.