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Fast-charge station deployment strategy

How do we decide where to put our fast-charge stations?

The Electric Circuit’s mission is to provide a reliable charging network accessible to all electric vehicle drivers. In addition to the 7-kW and 50-kW stations it has operated for a number of years, the Electric Circuit is now introducing new fast-charge technologies, such as 25-kW and 100-kW stations, to meet a wide array of charging needs.

Over the next few years, expansion of the fast-charge network is expected to accelerate. But how do we choose the best sites for our charging stations?

Our decision is guided by two main goals:
•    Provide charging services across Québec to ensure that every region is well served and that the proximity of fast-charge stations facilitates travel by electric vehicles, even if certain stations are less used than others
•    Densify the fast-charge network on our busiest roadways to reduce lineups during peak periods as much as possible.
    
Based on these principles, we target two types of locations to meet the public’s fast-charging needs:
•    Transit stations: These stations are located along major traffic corridors and are designed to facilitate electric vehicle travel between cities.
•    Urban stations: These stations provide fast-charging services in dense residential neighborhoods where recharging at home is not always an option.

New locations are selected based on several factors:
•    Site merits
•    Accessibility
•    Nearby services 
•    Feasibility of installing a charging station at that location

A site’s merits are determined by its distance from the nearest fast-charge stations and their monthly usage statistics, or by the number of local residents without access to a home charging station. For example, we aim for a distance of 50 to 80 km between fast-charge stations along major roadways.

As for site accessibility, we want our stations to be as close as possible to major traffic corridors, meaning within 1 km. In addition, we look for safe, well-lit locations that are within 200 metres of public washrooms as well as food services or a convenience store.

Feasibility is another important factor. The site has to have the electrical infrastructure in place to deliver the required fast-charging output at a reasonable installation cost. Cellular telephone reception must also be good to ensure the station is able to communicate with the Electric Circuit’s operating system.

Moreover, the site must have sufficient parking spaces for the planned charging stations, we have to be able to obtain the necessary servitudes from landowners, and there must be enough space for potential expansions involving additional stations. Finally, we also pay close attention to accessibility for people with reduced mobility.

These are some of the challenges our teams face in providing electric vehicle drivers with the best possible locations. In the years ahead, the Electric Circuit will continue to fulfil its mission by installing an average of 160 new fast-charge stations a year. 

If you would like to track the rollout of fast-charge stations, you can consult charging stations under construction here on the map.

Got any suggestions for us regarding potential partners or new locations?