Localizing its supply chain paid dividends for the company during the pandemic, Tremblay said. As with automakers globally, however, microchips are one notable exception and have thrown up hurdles, with the supply from Asia being scarce, he said.
Along with charger sales, Flo generates 15 per cent to 20 per cent of its revenue from software and servicing its stations.
With EVs just beginning to make up a quantifiable portion of vehicle sales in North America, Tremblay expects Flo to continue growing rapidly through the 2020s.
The opportunity is considerable.
In the public charging realm alone, Canada currently has about 16,500 charging points, according to Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa has pledged to back the installation of an additional 50,000 by 2030.
Goals in the United States are larger. According to a recent International Energy Agency report, more than 100,000 public chargers are already along American roads. By 2030, Washington is looking to back construction of an additional 500,000.
CAN’T GO SOLO
Flo is ready to seize the opportunity, Tremblay said, but he knows the company will not have the market to itself.
“We’re working on the biggest challenge of our time, which is the fight against climate change, and it’s impossible that one company does it,” he said.
To supplement its own chargers, Flo has “roaming” partnerships with public charging networks, such as the Electric Circuit in Quebec and BC Hydro EV on the West Coast.
It also has a roaming deal with the Campbell, Calif.-based charging company ChargePoint that allows users of the competing networks to plug into either’s chargers.
There are times to be competitive, Tremblay said, but collaborating with rivals helps ensure the EV transition does not stall. If drivers are left stranded because networks or chargers do not play nice, it only sets the wider movement back, he said.
Flo’s current focus remains on Canada and the United States, but Tremblay is not ruling out a global rollout.
“I dream of going somewhere else one day,” he said. “I want to help the world meet the global fight against climate change. But for the next coming years, we are focusing on North America.”