Nationwide rollout at 90 of the iconic retailer’s locations a response to rising EV sales and joins raft of other EV charging infrastructure initiatives launching in 2020
Canadian Tire has announced a significant expansion of its network of EV chargers at retail locations across Canada. In collaboration with Flo, Electrify Canada, Tesla and Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian retail giant has pledged to install 240 fast chargers and 55 Level 2 chargers at 90 Canadian Tire locations by the end of 2020.
“For over 90 years we’ve helped Canadians move across this country. We see this as the next phase,” said Andrew Davies, senior vice-president, automotive, Canadian Tire Retail, during the network’s formal unveiling Wednesday at a Canadian Tire location in Toronto’s east end.
“With properties from coast to coast, the decision to install EV stations was an easy one.”
Canadian Tire currently has EV chargers installed at 21 retail locations across Canada. The company first announced a more limited expansion of that network, in partnership with Electrify Canada, in October.
Davies noted at the announcement that “this is the first step in our plan past 2020”, hinting at an even larger commitment to EV charging in the decade to come.
Bringing the station total to 90 by the end of this year will require the company to invest more than $5 million, Davies said, a decision he describes as “automotive environmentalism.”
The initiative is also supported by a $2.7-million investment from Natural Resources Canada.
“The move towards more zero emission vehicles is an integral part of our transition to a clean energy future,” said Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s minister of Natural Resources. “We are giving Canadians cleaner choices on the road by investing in infrastructure from coast-to-coast.”
The chargers will be supplied jointly by FLO, Tesla and Electrify Canada. The latter, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, is the Canadian counterpart to Electrify America, which has installed over 1,500 fast chargers across the United States since 2016. Electrify Canada’s fast chargers are currently capable of charging at 350kW, or speeds of up to 30 kilometres per minute.
The announcement follows a series of other significant expansions to Canadian EV charging networks. In December, Petro-Canada announced the completion of its “Electric Highway” network of EV fast chargers, which are currently installed at over 40 stations between British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
In late December, Tesla also activated a series of new proprietary charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway, many of which contained Tesla’s new ultra-fast V3 250kW chargers. Nine of these chargers are hosted at Canadian Tire locations, with that number set to eventually increase.
For current or future EV drivers, the expansion of convenient and efficient charging stations is welcome news.
“Travelling a distance in an EV no longer requires extensive preplanning,” said Wilf Steimle, president of the Electric Vehicle Society, an EV owners group. “It makes it easy to get in your car and go.”