The Electric Circuit: A New Way to Fill the Tank

Context of Transport Climate Action

Transportation is one of the main sectors that contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Québec, accounting for 44.7% of the region’s emissions. Since 99% of the electricity produced in Québec comes from renewable energy sources, the electrification of transportation, especially with regard to private vehicles, is essential in order to reduce GHG emissions and fight climate change.

The Government of Québec and the Hydro-Québec public power utility have adopted action plans to stimulate transportation electrification. As a result, the Electric Circuit, a public charging station network for plug-in vehicles, was launched in March 2012.

Description 

The Electric Circuit is the biggest public charging station network in Québec. It is a major initiative in the deployment of infrastructure required to support the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles. The network is composed of more than 525 public charging stations, including 21 quick-charge stations, deployed across Québec. Since its launch in March 2012, more than 130 private and institutional partners have joined the Electric Circuit. The network now has over 6,000 members.

Electric Circuit users have access to a 24 hours/7 days phone helpline operated and managed by the Canadian Automobile Association in Québec (CAA-Quebec), as well as a charging station locator service. The Electric Circuit website, www.theelectriccircuit.com, and mobile app for iOS and Android are updated as new stations are commissioned. The Electric Circuit membership card also allows users to access the VERnetwork, another public charging network with 150 charging stations in Québec.

Implementation 

The Electric Circuit intends to deploy both quick-charge (400-V) and Level 2 (240-V) public charging stations.

To ensure quality charging services, the network obtains its supply of charging stations from companies that provide robust products adapted to Québec’s harsh climate. The charging stations are interconnected and supported by 24 hours/7 days customer service. Consequently, should a problem arise at a charging station, there is always someone at the other end of the line to help find a solution.

The network is continually looking for partners such as municipalities, institutions and companies, to make more charging stations available. These partnerships allow for sharing the purchase and installation costs of charging stations. To date, more than 120 partners have joined the Electric Circuit and helped install three types of charging stations: Level 2 (240-V) stations, quick-charge stations (400-V) and curb side stations (240-V) adapted to servicing large urban centres.

Benefits

Being a member of the Electric Circuit is advantageous because it is:

PROFITABLE:

  • A banner that is visible and recognized across Québec, with over 525 partner charging stations affiliated with the Electric Circuit
  • Network-organized advertising campaigns and events for partners
  • New sources of revenue:
    • Revenue from recharging

Increased customer traffic at the business, institution or company that has established the partnership

CONNECTED:

  • Exclusive 24/7 CAA phone support
  • Mobile app:
    • showing the location of the Circuit’s charging stations
    • displaying their status and availability in real time
    • allowing for remote recharging, travel planning
  • Exclusive app for partners to keep track of recharge transactions
  • Automatic management of financial transactions
  • Seamless interoperability with VERnetwork TM (rest of Canada) and soon with U.S. networks
  • Equipment selected by the Circuit is tested and certified for our climate

RESPONSIBLE:

  • Electric Circuit charging stations are designed and manufactured in Québec with local aluminium

Partners are recognized for their environmental and social commitment as well as for their innovativeness.

Potential for scaling up

Year after year, the number of electric vehicles in Québec constantly increases. There are currently over 7,700 EVs in Québec, accounting for almost half of the electric vehicles in Canada. Each electric vehicle means approximately three tonnes of GHGs prevented annually.

In addition, the Québec government wants to have 800 charging stations in operation by the end of 2016 and 100,000 electric vehicles in circulation by 2020. The Electric Circuit will keep pace in order to achieve the government’s objectives and will continue to provide charging services that are adapted to the evolving nature of electric vehicles on Québec’s roads.

Selected references

Government of Québec Transportation Electrification Action Plan http://www.transportselectriques.gouv.qc.ca/

Electric vehicles – Government of Québec

http://vehiculeselectriques.gouv.qc.ca/english/

The Electric Circuit

http://www.lecircuitelectrique.com/index.en.html;jsessionid=CE76F15150C7CEAE6D6BC1B752537473

PROJECT INFORMATION

Location:

Québec, Canada

Start:

2012

Finish:

In progress

Tags:

Canada, Mitigation, Passenger cars, Partnerships

Organizer/s:

Hydro-Québec – The Electric Circuit

Contact/s:

France Lampron – Director, Transportation Electrification at Hydro-Québec

“We are very pleased to offer electric vehicle users an ever-increasing number of stations as part of the Electric Circuit and would like to commend the various partners for this initiative as well as Nissan Canada, a collaborator on this achievement. It is thanks to the confidence of partners that the charging network is continuing to expand,” says France Lampron, Director – Transportation Electrification at Hydro-Québec.