The company says 100 connectors will be installed over 25 locations between Nanaimo and Calgary to form British Columbia’s largest 150kW ultrafast electric vehicle charging network
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to reflect the project cost.
Parkland Corp. is bringing a new, ultrafast charging network to British Columbia and Alberta in its first major foray into electric vehicle refuelling.
Parkland is one of Canada’s largest suppliers of retail and commercial fuel products and operates a chain of convenience stores, with additional operations in the United States and the Caribbean. Retail gas brands operated by Parkland include Chevron, Esso and Ultramar, while On the Run is one of its primary convenience store brands.
The company says its new B.C.-Alberta EV charging network will launch at 25 key retail locations, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Whistler, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops, Revelstoke and Calgary.
All charging ports will carry On the Run branding and most locations will feature an On the Run convenience store, a Triple O’s restaurant and complementary wi-fi to meet customer needs while they charge.
“We’re going to be strategically located on major highways and key cities and towns. We’ll have availability for our customers so they don’t have to worry about range anxiety,” says Donna Sanker, president of Parkland Canada in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada.
“We want to be with our stations where our customers need us. We’ve been watching the electric vehicle transition.”
Parkland owned and operated
In an interview with BNN, Parkland Corp. CEO, Bob Espey, said the “first phase — the 25 sites — is roughly $10 million…about $100,000 per charge point.”
Parkland will be responsible for installing and operating all of its charging ports, the company confirms, but a vendor for the charging units and the network operator has not been announced yet.
“[The chargers] will be at preexisting retail locations,” says Sanker of the company’s vision of being able to offer multiple fuelling options at select stations. Parkland will continue to offer gas pumps alongside the new EV chargers in order to meet the widest band of customer needs. Its first foray into EV charging is as much about evolving with customers as it is a research project for future expansion.
“We are committed to meeting customer demand and learning about customer preferences in emerging EV markets,” said Sanker in the company’s press release. “While adoption is in its early phases, B.C. leads the way in North America, making this province a natural, scalable step for our EV charging network.”
An eye to the future
The launch of its first charging network is not a pivot in the company’s business strategy, Parkland says, but a natural evolution.
“The energy transition has been on our radar for some time. Trends have evolved and, as regulations change, we are following along,” says Sanker, who goes on to say Parkland is keen to use this initial network as an opportunity to consider areas of growth and expansion in the years ahead — but it doesn’t want to do it before understanding the customers and the landscape.
“We do see a long run for our base business. It’s going to sometime before vehicles are fully converted, but clearly the transition is coming and we want to be part of that. It’s an opportunity to become part of the solution and part of the growth. We are super excited.”