Canadian Tire will add nearly 300 electric-vehicle chargers at retail locations across the country by the end of 2020, saying that “the popularity of electric vehicles is on the rise.”
The Canadian retail giant is working with FLO, Volkswagen Canada subsidiary Electrify Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Tesla to install a total of 240 fast chargers and 55 Level 2 chargers at 90 Canadian Tire locations.
Using a fast charger, a battery can go from fully depleted to fully charged in about 30 minutes. A Level 2 charger takes between two and 10 hours depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
“Automotive is a heritage business for Canadian Tire and we have always evolved to meet the needs of drivers. With our premium real estate assets, we are able to provide convenient locations across the nation to service the growing number of EV vehicles in Canada,” said Andrew Davies, senior vice-president of automotive for Canadian Tire Retail.
Once complete, the Canadian Tire EV network will be one of the largest in the country.
None of the companies involved said how much the network will cost or how much they are each spending.
However, as part of the announcement Wednesday, the federal government said it is spending $2.7 million to build 54 of those electric-vehicle chargers across central and western Canada in an effort to increase EV sales.
This money comes from Natural Resources Canada's Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative and builds on the nearly $1.3 million it spent in 2016 for AddÉnergie to build 28 fast chargers at Canadian Tire locations.
British Columbia is also contributing $275,000 toward the fast chargers through its Clean Energy Vehicle Public Fast Charging Program.
“These investments will ensure that people can drive and charge vehicles where they live, work and play across Canada, facilitating increased uptake in the use of EVs,” Natural Resources Canada said in a news release.
The funding is part of the federal government’s $182.5-million investment to develop a coast-to-coast fast charging network for EVs; establish natural gas stations along key roads and highways and hydrogen stations in metropolitan centres; and to support the development of new technologies.
“The move towards more zero emission vehicles is an integral part of our transition to a clean energy future,” Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan said in a statement. “We are giving Canadians cleaner choices on the road by investing in infrastructure from coast-to-coast.”