Volkswagen Group Canada has formed a new company, Electrify Canada, that will build a state-of-the-art electric vehicle direct current charging network across the country. EV drivers will be able to charge their batteries up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.



A VW electric car charges up at a Level 3 Electrify Canada charging station. 2018 (
Photo courtesy Volkswagen Group Canada)



The new limited partnership company based in Ajax, Ontario, will manage the rollout and ongoing operation of the network.


Plans are for Electrify Canada to operate 32 EV charging stations near major highways and urban areas in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.


The fast-charging network is likely to be busy. Navigant Research forecasts that Canadian electric vehicle sales will grow at a compounded annual rate of 29 percent to reach about 140,000 vehicles per year in 2026.


“The Canadian electric vehicle market is growing, creating a great need for charging that is fast, convenient and available in key locations,” said Daniel Weissland, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group Canada, Inc.  


“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," Weissland said.


The initial plan calls for each charging site to have four chargers on average and use the non-proprietary DC fast charging technologies (CCS and CHAdeMO).


Charging power will range from 150kW to 350kW for the longer range, larger battery vehicles expected to come to market shortly.


The charging stations will also be able to deliver 50kW of power to support EVs on the road today.


EVs can be plugged right into a standard household or workplace outlet to charge, also known as Level 1 (110V, 15amps) charging. It can take up to 8-20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle at Level 1.


Level 2 charging stations use a 240 volt system, similar to a clothes dryer plug, and can fully charge a vehicle from 0 percent charge in about four to six hours.


Level 3 charging stations - also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers - use a 480 volt system and can charge a vehicle to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.


Level 3 stations allow EV drivers to charge their vehicles about eight times faster than Level 2 stations, making longer trips more feasible for EV drivers.


Today in Ontario, there are more than 1,400 Level 2 and 3 charging stations, but the pace of building charging stations is likely to slow now that the new Ontario government has decided to end the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle and Charging Incentive Programs. 


Volkswagen is planning to start launching a new generation of electric vehicles based on its I.D. electric concept vehicles next year. The I.D., a Golf-sized vehicle, is expected to be their first mass-market EV for the model year 2020. The crossover electric I.D. CROZZ Concept will follow, and then there’s the I.D. BUZZ electric microbus coming in 2022.


Nevertheless, the Electrify Canada charging station equipment will support all automotive brands, VW Group Canada said, " help ensure that all EV drivers have access to these chargers, regardless of their choice of manufacturer, to drive EV adoption."


By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

July 27, 2018