Parkland will use the $210-million loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank to deploy 2,000 DC fast chargers and expand its network
Parkland Corp., a Canadian fuel distributor and retailer, is expanding its network of electric vehicle chargers with a $210-million loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).
This funding comes from the CIB’s Charging and Hydrogen Refuelling Infrastructure (CHRI) initiative. It will go towards installing up to 2,000 new charging ports at approximately 400 Parkland sites across Canada.
“I want to compliment the CIB, on their financing model which helps incentivize and de-risk investments in EV charging,” says Darren Smart, senior vice-president, energy transition and corporate development, at Parkland, in a press statement. “We will be strategic in deploying this financing to expand our charging network.”
The CIB will fund 80 per cent of the capital required for installing the chargers over the next four years.
“By investing in charging infrastructure, we can support EV adoption and help to significantly reduce transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ehren Cory, CEO of Canada Infrastructure Bank, in a press statement.
CIB’s financing structure
The CIB’s financing structure offers an 18-year financing plan. The repayment of the principal depends on the usage of the EV chargers.
“Financing terms are flexible and adjust to consumer demand. Loan repayments can be deferred if charger utilization is weaker than anticipated, and interest rates increase if demand exceeds forecasts,” explains Ross Marowits, manager of media relations and issues management at CIB, in an email to Electric Autonomy.
The CHRI initiative launched in September 2022 with a $500-million budget. Its objective is to “address the barriers to significant private sector investment in charging and refuelling infrastructure — including uncertainty in the rate and pace of zero-emission vehicle adoption — to help increase access to public EV chargers,” says Marowits.
In April, the CIB secured its first deal under the CHRI initiative with Quebec-based charging network operator, FLO. That deal will see 2,000 DC fast charger ports deployed across Canada with a $220-million loan agreement.
With the Parkland deal, the CHRI initiative funding is nearing its “initial investment target” of $500 million. Marowits says the CIB is “in the process of evaluating additional financing proposals.”
Parkland’s multi-year EV network strategy
Parkland launched its “ultrafast” EV charging network in June 2021. They began with 100 connectors in 25 locations across British Columbia and Alberta.
In December 2022 Parkland announced a $6.8 million investment from the federal and B.C. governments to expand its network to 50 locations. Each station has two to four charging ports.
“Our initial investments in EV charging have been positive,” says Smart. “Strong customer utilization has validated our strategy to build scale in markets with tangible demand and has confirmed our belief that a high-quality customer experience matters.”
This expansion aligns with Parkland’s long-term strategy to “expand into other provinces with tangible consumer demand, including Ontario and Quebec.”
In addition, Parkland is exploring opportunities for additional third-party capital to finance its own sites and potential third-party locations.
And, in 2022, Parkland committed to build Electric Autonomy‘s “Electric Fuelling Station of the Future” competition winning design.
However, there are no updates on progress of that pledge, says a spokesperson for Parkland to Electric Autonomy.
Currently, Parkland has EV charging operational in 37 locations. These chargers are placed near various amenities such as convenience stores, restaurants, washrooms and well-lit, fully staffed areas.
The company says it is on schedule to have 50 operational charging locations by early 2024.