This overview is a collection of stats and opinions from various publicly available online sources
By 2020, the AC electric vehicle charger market is expected to reach 17.56 million units, growing at a CAGR of 28.69% while the DC EV charger market is predicted to reach 2.13 million units, growing at a CAGR of 34.53%. The highest growth is expected to be in USA (around 30%) followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe.
No exact ratio of the number of chargers needed per car
As of July 2017, there were 5,000 public charging stations across Canada — not clear how many of those are DC chargers — with the majority located in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, the only three provinces providing any kind of subsidy or rebate for owning an EV. This was compared to the almost 12,000 gas stations in the country — nearly one for every 3,000 Canadians.
This is a clear increase from the 2016 figure of 315 publicly available EV chargers in Canada.
Pasquale Romano, the CEO of ChargePoint, one of the largest charging station providers in North America and Europe said there’s no exact ratio of the number of chargers needed per car. Workplaces should have around 2.5 chargers for every employee, and retail stores need one for every 20 electric cars. Highways need one EV charger every 50 to 75 miles.
Oleh Martychenko of R&S Quantum, a Ukrainian fast EV charger manufacturer, estimates that as many electric vehicle chargers will at some stage be deployed in the world as the number of gas station pumps today.
Communities across Canada need EV charging stations to be evenly distributed
Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are all working toward building up their existing EV infrastructure. While Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan don’t have any specific subsidies in place, individual cities, like Calgary and Winnipeg, are also pushing to build up quick-charge infrastructure.
Vancouver now requires new homes and apartment buildings to be wired for EV charging.
Newfoundland and Labrador, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change Perry Trimper — who drives an electric vehicle — says his province is currently planning to announce an action plan that will address both climate and EV needs.
Electric cars still outnumber public charging stations by more than six to one.
Communities need stations that are more evenly distributed, according to Ron Groves, manager of education and outreach at Plug’n Drive, a Canadian EV advocacy group.
Places like the Greater Toronto Area don’t need more charging stations. But outside large cities, it’s a different story.
“We need large banks of them at rest stops on the way to the next city or town, just like we have rows of gas pumps at the ONroutes today,” according to Groves.
There are, some 220 charging stations in Mississauga, Ont., but only three in nearby Guelph. “There’s a huge dead zone across the rest of [Ontario],” observes a Canadian EV driver in a comment to the press. “I can’t get from Ottawa to Toronto via the fast-charger network.”
Canadians’ EVs with longer range need fast-charging DC chargers along highways
Lisa Jerram, an associate director with Navigant Research said that for at least the next 3-5 years, deep-pocketed automakers, governments and utilities will be primarily responsible for building charging infrastructure.
There are different types of charging stations, and no one knows the exact mix drivers will eventually need. A grocery store might spend $5,000 for an AC charge point, which provides a car with 5 to 15 miles of range in 30 minutes. But once most cars get 200 or 300 miles per charge, slow chargers are less necessary. Electric cars with longer range need fast-charging DC chargers along highways, but DC chargers cost $35,000 or more.
Drivers are up to 40 % more likely to own an EV if there is a charger within a kilometre of their home.
Ontario is in the midst of installing the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) a network of nearly 500 publicly available fast chargers
Delays are due to various challenging “site conditions” faced by the companies and their 24 contractors who won grants for the installations at various sites, including retail centres and fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s and Tim Hortons restaurants along Ontario’s highways.
As of March 2017, at more than 100 sites, issues around “land ownership, municipal permitting, electrical grid limitations and other factors” have reportedly slowed the installations. Contractors that have to find people and city government agencies that are unfamiliar with the technologies add time to any installation. One contractor, a Mississauga-based company called Koben Systems Inc. (KSI), won more than half of the $20-million grant purse with an $11.4-million grant. The company is responsible for installing 337 chargers (193 Level 2 and 144 Level 3).
Advocates working to increase the adoption of EV technology say that, even with the delays, Ontario is a much friendlier environment for battery-operated cars than it was just a year ago.
Before the EVCO chargers were installed, there were just 5 DC fast chargers in Ontario, 3 of which were at automaker HQ (those numbers exclude Tesla superchargers, which are proprietary and only charge Tesla models), according to FleetCarma, a Waterloo-based fleet management company that supports EV adoption.
Ontario’s goals include boosting EV sales to 5 % of total vehicle sales by 2020. The number currently hovers around 1 %, with 10,000 EVs on the road (1/3 of Canada’s total), more than half of which are fully electric, according to statistics compiled by FleetCarma.
“This is really the tipping point of something that’s mass market,” said Wilf Steimle, president of the Electric Vehicle Society and a director of Electric Mobility Canada.
As of October 2017, Le Circuit électrique, Canada’s first public EV charging network, had 121 fast chargers in Canada. Charge Point — 74 chargers. 34 stations will be installed by eCAMION about 100 kilometres apart along 3,000 km of the Trans-Canada Highway, spanning Ontario and Manitoba. The project is scheduled to be finished by the first quarter of 2019.
Billed as Canada’s first regional and community-driven strategy to accelerate the adoption of EVs, the Accelerate Kootenays initiative is about to deliver another 13 DC fast charging stations and 40 Level 2 chargers to the Kootenays, British Columbia by December 2018.
As of May 2017, there were over 30,000 EVs in Canada. Quebec is still the market leader despite having a smaller market than Ontario. But Canada’s most populated province is catching up, especially since it modified EV incentives for Tesla buyers to now have access to a $14,000 rebate.
There are tens of thousands of reservations for Tesla Model 3 in Canada.
Flo is a Quebec-based EV charging station network distributor with roughly 3,000 stations connected to its network, including more than 30 in New Brunswick and three in Nova Scotia. Flo is already working with the Ontario and Quebec governments to expand the provinces’ EV charging networks, and also has partnerships in place with several auto manufacturers. “We’re the preferred solution across Canada,” Flo’s CEO told the press. “Nissan Canada is recommending our charging network across their dealerships.”
Canada’s Sun Country Highway chargers.