Three years after Petro-Canada launched its Electric Highway, it’s using lessons learned and user feedback to take the network forward, emphasizing greater reliability and enhanced communications
This article is Sponsor Content presented by Petro-Canada
In December 2019, Petro-Canada™ celebrated a milestone in our continued evolution of keeping Canadians moving — the opening of an electric vehicle charging station in Victoria, B.C. The event marked the completion of Canada’s Electric Highway™, the country’s first coast-to-coast network of ultra-fast EV chargers.
Our goal with Canada’s Electric Highway was to continue to enable mobility for Canadians as their energy needs evolve. With access to more than 50 charging locations along the Trans-Canada Highway, EV drivers could have the confidence their next adventure is only a charge away.
We knew this wouldn’t be easy. Being first in a market that is developing quickly comes with a lot of challenges. But by listening to our valued customers and working with industry leading partners, we were up for the challenge.
We understand and appreciate the frustration among EV drivers as we continue to grow and learn from our network. You are pioneering the EV space, helping define the industry as it develops. Rest assured: you have been heard. Petro-Canada is on a mission to keep Canadians moving. Today, that includes creating the infrastructure to support low-carbon energy alternatives and Canada’s Electric Highway is just the beginning.
What we’ve learned
Just like EV drivers, Petro-Canada was an early adopter of a new technology. Technology that was new not just to us, but also the entire industry. It meant we needed to develop new capabilities and work with new partners that could adapt quickly to the evolving world of electric vehicles.
Making matters even more challenging, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe shortly after we celebrated the completion of Canada’s Electric Highway. Supply chains slowed to a crawl. Parts became difficult to source. Travel restrictions limited our ability to send skilled technicians where they were needed to diagnose problems and repair equipment.
All these factors contributed to instances where we, along with many other EV charging networks, faced difficulties in meeting the expectations of EV drivers. But we are working through the issues and remain committed to EV drivers and enabling mobility across Canada.
Where we’re headed
First, we’d like to thank all of you who shared feedback on your experiences. On-the-ground comments from EV drivers and our partners are informing our efforts to identify and respond more quickly to issues and build in new features that will drive a great customer experience.
Our immediate priorities focus on refining the reliability of our chargers — including hardware and digital capabilities — and enhancing communications with EV drivers. This will improve the network today and prepare us for expansion as we add new stops to Canada’s Electric Highway.
It’s a big job and there’s a lot of work ahead, but we hope that you — as EV drivers — will continue to grow with us and keep sharing your experiences and suggestions. We are beyond thrilled about striving to play a key role in Canada’s energy future and look forward to sharing more news with you soon.
For updates on Petro-Canada and Canada’s Electric Highway, please visit our website.