Is the EV charging infrastructure growing fast enough to respond to the EV and PHEV market penetration?
With our previous articles, we looked at the number of charging stations and the number of locations with charging stations available in Canada. We compared these numbers with the number of inhabitants, vehicles and electric vehicles. Now that we have an idea of the actual charging infrastructure status in Canada, we will look at how the ratio of EV charging infrastructure vs. # of EVs evolved and should evolve.
This last article of a series of 3 looks at:
- Canada’s EV charging infrastructure growth
- Public charging stations Vs. number of EV and PHEV
Canada’s EV Charging Infrastructure Status
As of March 2016, in Canada, there are:
- 160 level 2 stations per 1K EV & PHEV
- 16 DCFC per 1K EV (No PHEV)
From April 2015 to March 2016, the total number of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) increased by 65% in Canada. During this period of time the total number of level 2 charging stations and DC Fast Charger (DCFC) also increased by 65%.
Interestingly, the level 2 stations increased at a higher rate (4.3% avg. monthly) than the DCFC (3.8% avg monthly).
If Canada’s EV charging infrastructure keeps growing at the same 65% annual rate from April 1st 2016 to March 31st 2017, there will be over 2,000 new charging stations in Canada by March 2017.
Looking at growth per station type, if level 2 and DCFC stations continue to grow at their current respective month-over-month rates, Canada would add about 2,000 new level 2 stations and 100 DCFC stations between April 1st 2016 add March 31st 2017.
It’s interesting to note at this point that, combined, the Ontario Government and Hydro-Québec’s Electric Circuit have already announced over 250 new DCFCs that should go online before March 31st 2017. If you add to those some recently announced Tesla Superchargers and potentially a portion of the 70 DCFC stations Natural Resources Canada will be funding, it is clear that Canada’s DCFC infrastructure growth rate will go up this year.
The question is: is it increasing fast enough?
3 Leading Provinces In EV Charging Infrastructure Growth
The top 3 contributors to the EV charging infrastructure growth in Canada are British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Over the past 12 months, B.C.’s ratio of charging stations per EV & PHEV decreased while it increased in Ontario and Quebec.
Of the 3 EV leading provinces in Canada, BC is the only province that saw its ratio of charging stations per EV & PHEV decrease. During the last 12 months the total number of charging stations increased by 47% while its ratio of charging stations per EV & PHEV went from 380 charging stations per 1K EV & PHEV down to 282 charging stations (all types combined).
Even though it decreased in the last year, BC still has the highest ratio of charging stations per EV & PHEV among Canada’s three EV leading provinces.
Another aspect of interest is to look at the number of charging stations by types in comparison with the vehicles that can use the charging stations. BC has 248 level 2 charging stations per 1k EV & PHEV and 25 DCFC per 1k EV (no PHEV). Both ratios are down compared to their previous year’s numbers.
In April 2015 Ontario had 119 charging stations per 1K EV & PHEV. With a charging infrastructure growth fueled by a 63% increase in level 2 EV charging stations, this ratio increased to 123 charging stations per 1K EV & PHEV.
With its government’s latest announcement, Ontario’s total number of EVSE should increase by over 70% between April 1st 2016 and March 31st 2017.
In March 2016, Ontario had 16 DCFC per 1K EV (No PHEV). Unfortunately for non-Tesla EV drivers, over 90% of the DCFC in the province were Tesla Superchargers. With over 200 new dual standard CHAdeMO & SAE DCFC being funded by the Ontario Government’s EVCO project for March 2017, the DCFC per 1K EV (No PHEV) ratio of the province should go up significantly in upcoming months. Of course, the magnitude of this increase also depends on the number of EVs on the road. Ontario also announced its Climate Change Action Plan includes $285-million for EV incentives. It will be interesting to see how both the number of EVSE and the number of EV & PHEV will evolve over time.
How high will the EVCO project raise the DCFC per 1k EV (No PHEV) ratio?
How long will the DCFC per 1k EV (No PHEV) ratio stay above the average before the sale of more EV & PHEV brings the ratio down again?
We will definitely be following the evolution of Ontario’s EV charging station infrastructure closely to answer these questions.
Quebec’s ratio of EV charging stations per 1K EV & PHEV went from 138 charging stations in April 2015 to 158 charging stations in March 2016. This province’s goal is to reach a total number of 100,000 plug-in vehicles on the road by 2020. To keep its current ratio of 158 charging stations per 1K plug-in vehicles, it would need to add over 14,500 charging stations (all types combined) to its public charging network by 2020.
In order to do so, it would more or less have to maintain its current EV infrastructure growth rate of 88.5% year-over-year all the way until 2020. While it may be possible to maintain this growth rate in the short term, it will be difficult to sustain it for a long period without some fundamental shifts in one or more areas impacting Quebec’s EV ecosystem.
As of March 2016, Quebec has 12 DCFC per 1K EV (No PHEV) and 149 Level 2 charging stations per 1K EV & PHEV. Quebec has the lowest DCFC ratio per 1K EV (No PHEV) of the leading EV provinces in Canada. However, the province has managed to get a steady and predictable growth of its DCFC infrastructure with great access to all vehicles. Only 20% of its DCFC stations are Tesla Superchargers and this percentage is diminishing.
Charging Stations Per Electric Vehicles
This three part series on Canada’s EV infrastructure gave a snapshot of the current EV charging station roll out in the country. It first looked at the number of public EVSE ports and the number of public locations with charging stations. Three provinces, B.C., Ontario and Quebec, are clearly leading the way on this front. Their respective EV infrastructure roll out strategies differ but all three have a strong will to increase EV usage and believe that charging infrastructure is one key part of the puzzle.
This third article in the series analyzes the ratio of EV charging stations to plug-in vehicles. This ratio is one concise means of seeing the evolution of the EV ecosystem in key provinces and in Canada in general. The two figures below are a good snapshot of the current situation. Over time, we will continue to follow these indicators on a periodic basis to report on the health of the EV ecosystem in Canada.
It will be interesting to see how different provinces will see their infrastructure and their number of plug-in vehicles grow in response to different stimulus and various local and external factors.
- How low will the B.C. ratio go? Will there be government intervention in the near future?
- Will Ontario succeed in boosting its EV infrastructure to the desired level? Will it help with EV sales?
- Can Quebec keep up its progression and have the required EV charging infrastructure to meet its EV goals?
Those are all questions for which we will be bringing data to help provide answers in up coming months.
In the near future however we will shift our focus to another EV charging infrastructure performance indicator. Since public EV infrastructure has only recently started to be put in place and DCFC installations had barely started in Canada until 2015, the coverage area of the infrastructure is probably the primary focus point of any coordinated installation in the near future.
Given this, ChargeHub will tackle the subject of EV charging station distribution relative to settled area in an up coming article.