The Electric Circuit, Hydro-Québec’s public charging network, has announced that fast-charge stations will now be deployed more quickly with the rollout of approximately one hundred new fast-charge stations. Over the next 10 years, 1,600 new fast-charge stations will be deployed in Québec.
In June 2018, the National Assembly unanimously adopted An Act to promote the establishment of a public fast-charging service for electric vehicles. The new legislation authorizes Hydro-Québec to use revenue from the increase in electricity sales generated by charges carried out primarily at electric vehicle drivers’ homes to fund the installation of more fast-charge stations. Electricity rates will therefore not be affected.
Hydro-Québec’s specific objectives will be as follows:
- Commission 1,600 fast-charge stations in the next 10 years. As many as 22 new fast-charge stations have already been deployed in 2019 and about 100 in total will be deployed this year.
- Expand the network in areas that currently have fewer fast-charge stations, such as Mauricie, Côte-Nord, Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean and Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
- Densify the network in the busiest areas in order to eliminate waiting times at some stations in peak hours, particularly along highways.
- Provide a high-quality, reliable service that is provided at the same price for all electric vehicle drivers so they can travel anywhere in Québec with ease.
Over time, the speed with which the new charging stations are installed will be modified based on the following:
- Forecasts of the number of electric vehicle drivers, where they are located and the usage of existing charging stations
- Costs incurred by expanding the network
- New technologies that simplify the installation of fast-charge stations
- Our desire to ensure that the rollout of fast-charge stations has no impact on electricity rates
The successful rollout relies on the cooperation between partners who will provide space for the new charging stations, namely Desjardins, Le Groupe Crevier, Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert and Metro, as well as the Ministère des Transports du Québec, given that some charging stations will be located at rest stops.
Significant financial support from Natural Resources Canada
Under its fast-charge infrastructure program, Natural Resources Canada selected three Hydro-Québec projects to receive financial assistance of approximately $5 million. These amounts will be used to fund the installation of approximately 100 fast-charge stations in Québec. The three selected projects are for the installation of 10 superstations with four fast-charge stations, as well as the deployment of 40 fast-charge stations on the north shore of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River) and 20 fast-charge stations on the south shore.
There are currently close to 40,000 electric vehicles registered in Québec and the Electric Circuit has more than 1,700 charging stations, including 168 fast-charge stations.