Electric Autonomy Canada’s annual tally of Canada’s public EV charger installations and network buildouts shows faster growth in 2021, with a 39 per cent increase in DC fast chargers and 19 per cent charger growth overall
Growth in the number of public electric vehicle charging stations available to EV drivers in Canada picked up speed in 2021, according to data compiled in Electric Autonomy Canada‘s annual inventory of public EV charger installations in Canada.
As of December 31, 2021, Canadian EV drivers had access to 15,723 chargers at 6,723 public charging stations, according to data from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). While most of these (more than 12,000) are Level 2 chargers, there are 1,237 stations across Canada that now offer DC fast chargers.
Two new provincial/regional charging networks launched last year, while other existing network operators expanded at varying rates.
Below, we present a detailed breakdown for each of the charging networks, listing the total number of DC fast and Level 2 chargers and charging stations operated by every national and provincial/regional public EV charging provider in Canada, as well as selected highlights regarding business trends, location highlights, partnerships and future plans.
Overall, some 2,493 new chargers and 707 new public charging stations funded in part with public monies came online in 2021, says NRCan. This growth translates to an almost 12 per cent increase in the number of stations and a 19 per cent jump in the number of chargers from 2020.
But fast charger installations are increasing rapidly: NRCan’s data shows there are now 3,138 DC fast charging ports, or chargers, publicly available in Canada — a jump of 38.6 per cent from 2020.
Electric Autonomy reached out to every charging network in Canada for data and comments. Direct answers from those networks that replied are published. In instances where a network did not respond to our request, Electric Autonomy relied on public data from NRCan. NRCan station counts only reflect those projects that have been publicly funded, meaning that charging networks that have privately financed some or all of their stations may be under-represented.
The overall story is one of strong growth in public charging stations for EV drivers. Whether it’s happening fast enough is a question for another story. What we do know is that, as part of its push to get more EVs on Canadian roads, the current federal Liberal government has pledged $700 million to add 50,000 new EV chargers and hydrogen stations to Canada’s charging networks by 2026.
Current trends also show that the major networks are implementing more roaming network agreements, allowing better coverage for EV drivers across Canada. Locations outside of metro areas and in more rural parts of the country are now being serviced more extensively as well.
- DC Fast Chargers: 1,344 chargers, 141 stations
- Level 2: 1,658 chargers, 569 stations
Tesla did not respond to Electric Autonomy’s request for comment for this story.
Tesla remained ahead of the game with the total amount of EV chargers available across the country. The company started installing its proprietary charging network along the Highway 401 corridor between Montreal and Toronto in 2014. Today, it has thousands of chargers from Vancouver to Halifax, with superchargers in every province except for Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada’s three territories.
Early last year, Tesla updated its Supercharger map with plans to install 44 new chargers in Canada. For 2022, the company’s map shows that 18 new charging stations are going to be installed, with 10 in Ontario, two each in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec and one in Manitoba and Alberta.
- DC Fast Chargers: 265 chargers, 196 stations
- Level 2: 4,331 chargers, 1759 stations
Quebec-based AddÉnergie’s FLO network is already one of the nation’s most comprehensive charging networks, with more than 260 DC fast and thousands of Level 2 chargers operational across all 10 Canadian provinces and the Yukon. In 2021, the company confirms, it added 1,236 Level 2 chargers and 101 DC fast chargers, a growth rate of 37 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, compared to last year’s numbers.
AddÉnergie told Electric Autonomy this rate of growth exceeds company expectations and reflects the incredible momentum behind EV adoption in the country, with the expectation that FLO will bolster its network by similar numbers in 2022.
These numbers include both public stations that are visible on the FLO app and captured in NRCan data, as well as stations that are accessible to any EV driver but not featured on public network maps.
FLO also has turnkey charging stations available for sale to businesses and consumers for private use.
Last year FLO also launched a new mobile app, available for all devices, that includes integration with the FLO Home X5 charger, making it possible to monitor and remotely control home charging, and to see other information such as the total of kWh transferred at home, on public networks and even from workplace charging (if provided by FLO).
Peaks to Prairies
- Completed 2019
- 19 fast chargers, two Level 2 chargers
FLO is also the network operator of Peaks to Prairies, a community-driven initiative started by Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance, SouthGrow Regional Initiative, Medicine Hat College and the cities of Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat to deploy a network of EV chargers in southern Alberta. Peaks to Prairies completed the installation of 20 DC fast charging and Level 2 stations in 2019. Its owner and equipment operator is ATCOenergy.
- DC Fast Chargers: 158 chargers, 137 stations
- Level 2: 2,094 chargers, 1,157 stations
California-based ChargePoint is another significant player across Canada with charging stations in every province. In 2021 it continued to expand, adding 88 DC fast chargers and 552 Level 2 chargers across the country, according to ChargePoint.
ChargePoint was listed on the New York Stock Exchange early in 2021, making it the first publicly listed EV charging network. And while the company is keeping future expansion plans confidential, last year it announced a number of partnerships with vehicle manufacturers including Daimler, Volvo and Mercedes, covering roaming agreements and charging access across North America.
In addition, in December of last year, ChargePoint and Quebec’s Electric Circuit signed a roaming partnership allowing members of both networks to charge on the other’s network.
- 36 DC fast chargers, 18 stations
The EcoCharge program was launched in 2020 in collaboration with Earth Day Canada —a Quebec-based environmental organization — Fonds Éco IGA and participating IGA grocers, with the aim of building an initial 100 fast-charging stations at 50 IGA supermarket parking lots across Quebec and New Brunswick. ChargePoint is the network’s equipment and software supplier.
EcoCharge told Electric Autonomy that in 2021, it added 20 chargers at 10 locations (two chargers per site). The network is expected to be completed later this year, with the possibility to add more chargers and locations in the future.
- DC Fast Chargers: 116 chargers, 29 station locations
- Level 2: 0 chargers, 0 stations
Electrify Canada — a Volkswagen Group subsidiary — added 12 new DC fast charger stations to its network last year. Each station has four chargers, capable of speeds up to 150kW and 350kW. The network already has stations in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. and in the next three years will expand to Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, providing Electrify Canada coverage from coast to coast.
This will add another 100 charging stations with over 500 DC fast chargers to its network by 2026, with a focus on strategic locations in metropolitan centres, along major highways, and near amenities.
In June 2021, Electrify Canada also introduced Plug and Charge technology to Canada, which allows Plug and Charge-capable EV drivers to charge their electric vehicles without using a card or smartphone. At the moment, this capability is limited to a handful of vehicles including the 2021 Porsche Taycan, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai IONIQ 5, and the Rivian R1T, but other vehicles are expected to implant Plug and Charge in the near future.
The Electrify Canada network has agreements with both Porsche and Volkswagen to offer complimentary ultra-fast charging to drivers of the Porsche Taycan, the 2020 Volkswagen e-Golf and the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4. This year, Electrify Canada partnered with Lucid Motors to offer the drivers of the new Lucid Air sedan, two years of complimentary ultra-fast charging on its network. The Lucid Air is also equipped with Plug and Charge technology.
- DC Fast Chargers: 107 chargers, 57 stations
- Level 2: 12 chargers, 12 stations
After a strong start in 2019, when it rolled out over 100 fast chargers at stations located every 250 kilometres along the Trans-Canada Highway from Halifax to Victoria, in 2021 Petro-Canada added just three new chargers to its network: one in British Columbia and two in Ontario.
Petro-Canada told Electric Autonomy that the company is currently focusing on learning from its existing network of stations and EV app and will assess any new chargers on a case-by-case basis.
- DC Fast Chargers: 45 chargers, 24 stations
- Level 2: 2 chargers, 1 station
Greenlots did not respond to Electric Autonomy’s request for comment for this story.
As a member of the Shell Group since 2019, Greenlots rebranded into Shell Recharge Solutions earlier this year, to support Shell’s goals to merge its North American and European EV charging network NewMotion under one brand identity.
In November, Greenlots announced a partnership with Uber Canada that will see the network install three DC fast chargers in Vancouver, for the exclusive use of EV drivers using the Uber app.
The company also reached a roaming agreement to allow access to Greenlots’ chargers through ChargePoint, EV Connect and FLO networks.
- DC Fast Chargers: 18 chargers, 9 stations
- Level 2: 1,352 chargers, 1,352 stations
Toronto-based SWTCH Energy significantly beefed up its network of Level 2 chargers in 2021 with the addition of 825 chargers, and three DC fast chargers, primarily in Ontario and B.C.
The company plans to continue its rapid growth in 2022 by adding another 1,000 Level 2 and 50 DC fast chargers.
As with many other charging networks, SWTCH also provides home and business-based charging stations, including chargers specifically for multi-family dwellings such as apartment buildings.
The Electric Circuit (Le Circuit électrique)
- DC Fast Chargers: 623 stations
- Level 2: 2,915 stations
The Electric Circuit (Le Circuit électrique), Hydro-Québec’s public charging network, offers the most comprehensive charging network in Quebec, and it is continuing to lead charging access in the province with substantial expansion plans for both DC fast chargers and Level 2 stations.
In 2021, it added 163 DC fast chargers to its network, including over one hundred 100 kW chargers, giving it a total of 623 DC fast chargers. It also added 354 Level 2 chargers, with a total of 2,915 chargers to its network.
In 2022, the Electric Circuit plans to add another 160 DC fast chargers and 500 Level 2 chargers. The network’s longer-term goals include installing 2,500 DC fast chargers by 2030.
Hydro-Québec is also working with municipalities in Quebec to fund the purchase and installation of curbside Level 2 Electric Circuit chargers in dense urban areas, with the target to install 4,500 new Level 2 chargers by 2028. Hydro-Québec is providing financial assistance of up to $12,000 per standard charging station in neighbourhoods with limited access to private outdoor outlets, as well as daytime charging downtown and near shopping centres.
Finally, following last year’s roaming integration agreement with ChargePoint, an Electric Circuit spokesperson told Electric Autonomy that more roaming integration plans with other networks will be announced in future.
BC Hydro EV
- DC Fast Chargers: 99 chargers, 76 stations
- Level 2: 2 chargers, 2 stations
The expansion plans of British Columbia’s BC Hydro EV charging network suffered some setbacks in 2021, including COVID-19 delays and major floods and forest fires that gripped much of the province. As a result, only eight DC fast chargers were added to the network instead of the 19 targeted. However, many of these delayed sites will open by March this year, and by 2025 the network has its sights set on a major expansion to 325 DC fast chargers across 145 sites.
The network is also planning to open accessible pull-through fast-charging sites to allow larger vehicles (such as EV trucks and trailers) to access fast charging, with several sites already under construction at Fraser Lake and Lillooet.
Most of BC Hydro’s network’s capacity has been 50kW DC fast chargers, but last year, the network operators started installing 100kW fast chargers and told Electric Autonomy that moving forward it will be focusing entirely on providing fast-charging infrastructure and not the Level 2 chargers.
- Completed 2019
- 13 fast chargers, 40 Level 2 chargers (part of the above BC Hydro network)
BC Hydro — along with FortisBC utility — are the owners and operators of Accelerate Kootenays, a fast-charging station initiative backed by several local community energy associations, private investments, and the province of B.C. The chargers are located in the region of Kootenays. Launched in 2018, the network has 13 DC fast chargers and 40 Level 2 chargers.
Ivy Charging Network
- DC Fast Chargers: 91 chargers, 38 stations
- Level 2: 63 chargers, 32 stations
Launched in 2020, the Ivy Charging Network is a joint venture between Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One. The network added Level 2 charging in partnership with local municipalities and businesses in Ontario. Plus it launched and rebranded its two tiers of service as “Charge & Go” for its DC fast-charging options and “Park & Charge” for its Level 2 charging.
In 2021, Ivy partnered with retailer Canadian Tire and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation to deploy 69 of its fast chargers at all 23 Onroute rest stop locations along the 400-series highways. Nine of these new locations have already come online in Cambridge South, Cambridge North, West Lorne, Dutton, Odessa, Woodstock, Innisfill, Ingleside and Napanee. The company said more could be added beyond the initial 69.
Ivy is planning to further expand its network and kicked off 2022 with 23 more DC fast chargers added in the first two months of this year, along with a further four Level 2 chargers (numbers not yet reflected in the NRCan data above).
- DC Fast Chargers: 52 chargers
- Level 2: 80 chargers
Founded over a decade ago, EV Connect has a strong presence and a wide network of EV charging stations around the world. In April 2021, it announced in a press release that it will be expanding its network into Canada, with plans to open its first offices in Toronto and build 1,000 charging stations at business locations by the end of 2022.
EV Connect also took over the operations and maintenance of part of the MyEVroute network, which was previously owned and managed by Ontario-based Koben Systems Inc. EV Connect will transition around 200 of MyEVroute charging stations to operate under its network.
- DC Fast Chargers: 26 chargers, 26 stations
- Level 2: 62 chargers, 59 stations
New Brunswick Power operates 26 existing DC fast chargers across the eCharge Network in the Maritime province and added seven Level 2 chargers in 2021.
NB Power told Electric Autonomy it is currently “in talks with several partners” on expanding its network to offer more charging options. eCharge also has a roaming agreement with Québec’s Electric Circuit and the FLO network across Canada.
- DC Fast Chargers: 21 chargers, 12 stations
Federated Co-operative’s Ltd. Co-op Connect is one of Canada’s newest regional charging networks. The organization last year added the charging network to its line-up of service stations, grocery stores, agricultural products and home care services. Its 21 DC fast chargers are distributed over 12 locations along the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, all at existing Co-op retail locations.
The addition of eight DC fast chargers (at four locations) is planned for 2022, and Federated Co-operative Ltd. is also looking to expand Co-op Connect EV charging stations into British Columbia.
Co-op is one of only three fast charger-only charging networks in Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
- DC Fast Chargers: 14 chargers, 14 stations
By Aug. 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro completed building the province’s first public network of 14 DC fast-charging stations. The chargers are located every 70 kilometres along the Trans-Canada Highway, from St. John’s to Port aux Basque. Off the highway, there is one charger installed at Gros Morne National Park.
NL Hydro is one of only three fast charger-only charging networks in Canada. The network operators told Electric Autonomy that in a joint partnership with Newfoundland Power, the two companies are working to install an additional 19 fast-charging locations in other regions of the province in 2022, as part of its takeCharge program.
- DC Fast Chargers: 0 chargers
- Level 2: 41 chargers, 14 stations
Sema Connect did not respond to Electric Autonomy’s request for comment for this story.
Sema Connect added five Level 2 EV charging stations in B.C. and Quebec in 2021, per NRCan data.
According to a news release, the network unveiled a new Series 8 Retail charger last year, which lets customers pay for charging using several types of payment methods, such as credit card, SemaConnect app or website and Apple and Google Pay. Sema Connect also signed a two-year, renewable roaming agreement with Blink, to allow customers to use both operators’ networks without additional cards and subscriptions, starting in 2021.
Sun Country Highway
- DC Fast Chargers: 0 chargers
- Level 2: 6 chargers, 5 stations
Sun Country Highway did not respond to Electric Autonomy’s request for comment for this story.
According to its website, the company directly sells Level 2 charging equipments to customers for public or home charging. It says it has also worked with businesses such as Ikea, Best Western, and Peavey Mart to develop company-wide charging networks.
Per NRCan data, Sun Country has six Level 2 chargers and five charging stations across Canada.
- DC Fast Chargers: 0 chargers
- Level 2: 6 chargers, 1 station
Blink Charging did not respond to Electric Autonomy’s request for comment for this story.
Florida-based Blink Charging has a sizeable charging presence in the United States but in Canada, per NRCan data, its single Level 2 charging station is located in Quebec.
At the beginning of 2022, Blink announced on its company website it will be deploying its iQ 200 Level 2 chargers at participating General Motors dealerships across Canada and the U.S.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include updated data for the number of chargers in the EV Connect network and additional information about its acquisition of the MyEVRoute network.
Interesting article. I had the experience of arriving at a DC fast charger station that had only one charger. Unfortunately, it was already charging a Nissan Leaf. The Leaf has a restricted charge rate (46kW I believe), so it can take quite a while to charge. We waited about 30 minutes for the owner to return, then began our charging session for another 20 minutes.
My question is why do so many of these networks insist on only one or two chargers at each location?
As it stands now, Tesla is the only vehicle I would consider owning, and their charging network is a major factor. Most Tesla Superchargers have 6 or 8 chargers per location, so there is a far greater chance of a vacant charger when you arrive, and the vehicles are capable of charging at 150kW, so they usually have a shorter elapsed time before they’re done charging and on their way again.
While Ford, Porsche, Volvo, Polestar, VW, Audi and many others are beginning to develop compelling EV’s, I’d be hesitant to purchase one of their offerings until the DC fast charge stations increase the number of chargers at each site.
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