Canada jump starts country's electric car charging network

Canada is seeing the development of several charging station programs across the country, in preparation for increased electric vehicle ownership, Ingram writes.

Jeff Barnard/AP/File
Bruce Sargent tops off the charge on his Nissan Leaf at a new electric car charging station in Central Point, Ore., in this March 2011 file photo. It might have taken Canada a little while to catch up to the U.S. for electric car and charging station availability, Ingram writes, but through 2013 those north of the border may finally find the market has arrived.

Electric car availability is low in some Canadian provinces, but as that changes, some companies have already begun to set up charging networks.

As with the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, electric cars are expected to be most prevalent in larger cities, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Pike Research reports the development of several charging station programs across the country, in preparation for increased electric vehicleownership.

Among them is Quebec's Circuit Electrique program, sponsored by Hydro Quebec.

For $2.50, electric car users will be able to charge as long as they like, with access to the units granted by prepaid card. The total network will cover 120 stations, 100 of which are already operational in greater Montreal and Quebec City

The British Columbia Government expects to offer even more charging opportunities, with 600 public charging stations planned by April 2013. The province is offering rebates for companies offering stations to the public, of over $4,000 (U.S.) for Type 2 stations and over $25,000 for DC fast charge stations.

The Ontario government too is putting significant amounts of money into charging station deployment, with $81 million (U.S.) earmarked for the region.

It might have taken Canada a little while to catch up to the U.S. for electric car and charging station availability, but through 2013 those north of the border may finally find the market has arrived.

As Pike Research warns though, companies need to find a true business case for offering charging stations--to prevent their availability becoming simply a minor bubble when government incentives disappear.

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