Despite COVID-19 delays, the company remains on track to complete its national EV fast-charging network by the end of 2020
It’s not quite the “last spike,” but after a slight delay, Electrify Canada is now on its way to adding more EV charging stations in British Columbia as part of its commitment to complete a 32-station national network by the end of 2020.
The company opened its first B.C.-based charging station in Merritt in May. Due to COVID-19, Robert Barrosa, chief operating officer of Electrify Canada, says some work on additional stations in the province was deferred about two months. But late last week, it announced plans for eight new sites.
The new stations will be located in Abbotsford, District of Hope, Golden, Kamloops South, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Squamish.
Restrictions vary by province
“Different provinces have different rules,” says Barrosa about the delays. ”In B.C., especially in rural areas, we were able to continue constructing and completing our work with proper precautions, [such as] limited crews and social distancing. It allowed us to move forward at a much slower pace.”
The company also had to be mindful of project partners, such as B.C. Hydro, which had its own set of restrictions and rules.
The company first announced its plan for a nationwide, 32-station network last September. While there are other chargers available to EV drivers, Barrosa hopes Electrify Canada’s stations stand out. He says they are building the “next level of technology” to help consumers have confidence in their decision to go electric.
“When we built stations we built large format stations, so we’re just not putting in one or two chargers; we’re putting in a minimum of four chargers and actually building for expansion in the future,” he says. “The other thing we’re putting in place are 150-kilowatt to 350-kilowatt chargers. So, with the right kind of vehicle, you can charge in as little as 10 minutes and get the full range of your vehicle back, so you can continue on to your destination.”
Keeping within current restrictions, Barrosa says plans for the other provinces are moving forward as well.
“There’s an excitement there that it’s all going to finally be a reality and to see things spark up and move forward, I think it’s invigorating for the team to be back at it,” he says.