Mockup of Electrify Canada DC fast charge station from Volkswagen
Mirroring its Electrify America network of public fast chargers for electric cars in the U.S., Volkswagen announced Thursday that it will set up a similar network in Canada—called Electrify Canada, logically enough.
Electrify Canada plans to set up 32 DC fast-charging stations in major Canadian cities and along highways across the country.
Like Electrify America's stations, each will have several fast chargers, with an average of four chargers per site.
The stations will include a mix of 150-kw and 350-kw fast chargers, along with some Level 2 chargers that will support existing electric cars that don't have fast-charging capacity.
The 350-kw fast chargers are expected to recharge a 300-mile electric car to 80 percent capacity in less than 15 minutes.
Each location will have plugs to support cars with both CHAdeMO and CCS Combo ports.
Electrify Canada will install the stations in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The company didn't specify any timetable or investment target to get Electrify Canada charging stations up and running.
Volkswagen is preparing to introduce its new I.D. Crozz electric crossover vehicle in North America in 2019.
Drivers pay for charging on Electrify America's network (unless other automakers have agreed to provide charging for their owners), and the machines take credit-card payments.
“The Canadian electric vehicle market is growing, creating a great need for charging that is fast, convenient and available in key locations,” Daniel Weissland, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group Canada, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this service and to take a leadership position in providing this key EV adoption enabler to the Canadian market.”
Sales of plug-in cars have taken off in Canada in the past year as Tesla has entered the market, GM has introduced the long-range Chevy Bolt EV, and Mitsubishi began imports of the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid.
Plug-in cars reached 3 percent of the market in June, though that may not be sustainable without the generous tax credits that were canceled in Ontario last week.
READ MORE: Electric car rebates end in Ontario, Canada
Navigant research forecasts that electric-car sales in Canada will grow annually at 29 percent and reach 140,000 vehicles in 2026.
Under its diesel emissions settlement with EPA and California in the U.S., Volkswagen was required to spend $2 billion to set up a nationwide network of DC fast chargers for electric cars that could charge any electric vehicle.
That resulted in Electrify America, which has operated for two years and recently opened its first few charging stations in the United States.
A Volkswagen spokesman told Green Car Reports that Electrify Canada is a voluntary effort. Like Electrify America, however, Electrify Canada will be set up as a standalone division of Volkswagen's Canadian operations.