Parkland to double size of announced EV charging network in western Canada

Parkland Corp. of Calgary says it’s received financial support from the federal and B.C. governments to build a network of electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The ultra-fast charge points will be sited at Parkland’s existing Chevron and ON the Run outlets on highways and major destinations on Vancouver Island, the B.C. Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and into Alberta, the company said in a news release.

The open network’s units can deliver up to a 200-kilowatt charge, and are capable of charging most EV models in 20 to 30 minutes. Each ON the Run location will have two or four charging ports.

The company received a $5-million grant from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) through its Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program and $1.8 million from the B.C. government.

Darren Smart, Parkland’s senior vice-president of energy transition and corporate development, said government funding will allow Parkland to double the size of its previously announced ultra-fast network to 50 locations from 25.

“Our network will help eliminate range anxiety for EV drivers and by offering high-quality convenience and food choices, we aim to deliver industry leading customer amenities and experiences,” he said in a news release.

Each location will be staffed, have an ON the Run convenience store and Triple O’s restaurant, as well as upgraded washrooms.


Smart said British Columbia was a natural starting point for Parkland’s ultra-fast charging network because it leads the way in EV adoption in North America.

EVs made up 17.5 per cent of new light-duty passenger vehicles sold in British Columbia so far this year, as of September, said Bruce Ralston, provincial minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation.

“The fast chargers being installed by Parkland across B.C. are a great example of both federal and provincial governments making key infrastructure investments to support the transition to clean transportation,” he said.

Parkland, which has more than 4,000 retail and commercial locations in Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean, said several of the network’s sites are already operating. It expects to finish the initial 25 locations by the end of this year and the rest in early 2024.

A Parkland spokesman would not disclose the amount of its investment, saying only that it exceeded the level of government funding.

EV charging is becoming an increasingly competitive space for traditional gasoline retailers as they seek to woo a growing number of electric car drivers in Canada.

Earlier this week, Suncor Energy announced it is targeting EV charging as part of a larger plan to boost revenue from its Petro-Canada retail network. Earlier this week, interim CEO Kris Smith told attendees at the company’s annual investor day that investing in EV charging will help to offset anticipated lower gasoline sales in the future.

“We expect gasoline demand could decline by up to 25 per cent by the mid-to-late 2030s based on current government regulation, and forecast EV penetration,” Smith said.

In October, Imperial Oil Ltd. announced it has signed a deal with FLO, a Quebec-based manufacturer of EV charging stations, to develop a charging service option for Imperial’s Esso and Mobil-branded wholesalers.

“Lots of people are very focused on this space and moving quickly,” Smart said. “Everybody sees that EV penetration is increasing and wants to play in this space.”

However, Smart emphasized that Parkland doesn’t foresee demand for traditional gasoline going away anytime soon.

“Even though there are more EVs as part of new car sales every year, it takes a long time for the fleet that’s on the road to turn over. In Norway, for example, 80 per cent of new vehicles are EVs, but 80 per cent of the fleet is still conventional engines,” Smart said.

“We are positioned to service that demand either way, whether it’s a conventional vehicle or electric vehicle.”

With files from the Canadian Press

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