Electrify Canada to capitalize on Canadian Tire name recognition, while the retail giant looks to evolve its business
Ninety-seven years ago two Canadian brothers pooled $1,800 in savings and began the most successful Canadian-owned-and-operated franchise in the country, Canadian Tire.
Nearly a century later, Canadian Tire is still expanding.
The company is set to meet the growing needs of the electric auto industry through a partnership with Electrify Canada that will see over 20 electric vehicle charging stations installed at its retail locations across the country.
“We are thrilled to be entering into a relationship with a company that has strong Canadian roots,” says Robert Barossa, chief operating officer of Electrify Canada.
“[Canadian Tire] shares the same values and core beliefs of providing convenience and reliability of services to users.”
The partnership was announced October 9.
Established in 2018, Electrify Canada is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, also the parent company of Electrify America.
Electrify America, established in 2017, has partnered with multiple large retail companies in the U.S. putting nearly 300 charging stations in parking lots from coast to coast.
Now it is hoping to bring the same model of success north.
“We see similarities in the Canadian market with regards to the enthusiasm and demand for electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging,” says Barossa in response to Electric Autonomy Canada‘s questions.
“We also see similarities in the barriers that drivers face in order to obtain to EV adoption — most notably, concerns about range. Our charging stations will be located near major transit highways and in metro areas to allow EV drivers to charge, rest, shop and eat simultaneously, then quickly get back en route to their destination.”
Last month, Electrify Canada unveiled its maiden charging station in the Toronto Premium Outlets shopping centre in Halton Hills. It promises an additional 31 locations will be operational by the end of 2020.
The 20 charging stations at Canadian Tire locations are part of that initial roll out. Some will go live before the end of 2019, the rest next year.
A charging host leader
This latest announcement makes Canadian Tire one of the leading EV charging hosts in Canada.
“At its roots, Canadian Tire is an automotive company,” says Andrew Davies, the company’s senior vice-president, automotive. “Canadian Tire is responding to Canadians’ desire to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
The retailer already has a strong charger network in Ontario and a few locations in Alberta through a deal with Flo, Canada’s largest charging network. By partnering with Electrify Canada, Canadian Tire will expand its footprint in those two provinces and establish a national network by adding its first locations in Quebec and B.C.
Electrify Canada confirms all of their Canadian charging stations will offer the first-ever certified liquid cooled-cable 150-to-350-kilowatt (kW) DC fast chargers.
All EVs compatible with CCS or CHAdeMO charging outlets will be able to plug in and get an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.
The goal is to build electric infrastructure that services — and encourages — an electric mobility fleet across Canada.
“Infrastructure is an important element in the adoption of electric vehicles,” says Barrosa. “Policies which streamline and expedite the utility interconnection process will help spur more and faster deployment of infrastructure.”
“The number of EV drivers is continuing to increase; as such, drivers need fast, reliable and convenient charging options,” says Barrosa.
“We look forward to seeing the entire country continue to adopt the tools and incentives that lead to EV adoption.”