Quebec rolls out new charging stations for electric cars

An electric car charging station in Quebec. Global News

QUEBEC CITY – Following their “aggressive” plan to electrify transportation, Quebec officials announced Friday they are adding fast-charge stations in Quebec City, Lévis, Sainte-Julie, Magog, Drummondville and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Quebec already has a network of 400 charging stations, including ten 400-volt fast-charge stations, and is currently the province with the most electric cars in circulation.

Fifty per cent of electric cars in Canada are in Quebec.

“Our approach is most definitely aggressive,” said France Lampron, Transportation Electrification Director at Hydro-Quebec.

“Hydro-Quebec really believes in electric transportation and we had a CEO before and a new CEO now who are strong supporters of electric transportation. Our vision for the next three years is to deploy 50 fast chargers and we also want to have in service 725 level two chargers (240-V).”

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The long-term plan is to electrify public transit.

Liberal MNA Patrick Huot said Quebecers can expect a wide-ranging policy in the fall.

“We want to be leaders in Quebec, we want to be leaders in Canada and North America,” he said.

Transport Minister Robert Poëti will announce the next step with Energy Minister Pierre Arcand in September.”

In the meantime, as vacation-ers prepare to hit the road, CAA-Quebec insisted there are major advantages to driving an electric car.

“We’re used to seeing unexplained hikes at the pump and that bothers people,” said CAA Public Affairs V-P Sophie Gagnon.

“When you don’t know why you’re paying more and you know that it’s not necessarily justified it’s frustrating, so definitely it’s a good reason to go to electric vehicles.”

“Of course it’s important that you have the capability to drive from one city to another and that’s what we’re allowing to happen with these new charging stations. It’s a question of confidence and it’s a question of being able to drive long distances.”

Gagnon pointed to the Nissan Leaf, which consumes the equivalent of 2.1 litres/100 km.

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She said CAA calculated that drivers can save about $1,500 a year.

For now, Quebec drivers can plug their vehicles in parking lots of several RONA stores, Metro grocery stores and St-Hubert restaurants.

There are also charging stations at the AMT in Montreal and CAA headquarters in Quebec City.

Charging takes about three hours at 240-V stations and 30 minutes at 400-V fast-charge stations.

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