November 10, 2023
At Fully Charged LIVE Canada, BC Hydro announced it is adding higher-powered chargers to its fast-charging network with the introduction of 180-kilowatt charging units, which can add up to 180 kilometres of driving to an average electric vehicle in about 10 minutes.
“B.C. is a leader in electric vehicle adoption and has one of the largest public electric vehicle charging networks in Canada, and we are committed to providing more options for drivers looking to charge their vehicles, especially if they are short on time,” says Hon. Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “These new higher-powered chargers have the ability to charge electric vehicles in a fraction of the time.”
In addition to being faster, the units also offer dual charging or power sharing, which allows two customers to use the same charger. For example, a 180-kilowatt charger can adjust to provide two 90-kilowatt charging units and allow more drivers to access public charging stations.
The adoption of electric vehicles across British Columbia has increased significantly. There are now more than 120,000 EVs on the road in B.C., and BC Hydro predicts there will be between 700,000 and 900,000 EVs within the next 10 years.
“Our recent research found that of the 40 per cent of British Columbians looking to purchase a new vehicle in the next three years, many are considering an electric vehicle,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “We are listening to the feedback from our customers who tell us they are looking for more charging options and higher-powered chargers to join our fast charging network, and we are excited to begin the installation of these 180-kilowatt units later this fall.”
The first communities expected to receive these units include Tumbler Ridge, Manning Park, Mackenzie and Surrey. BC Hydro aims to start installing these units in late fall 2023 and many of its new locations planned in 2024 will also receive these higher-powered charging units.
BC Hydro’s provincewide fast charging network currently includes 153 charging units at 84 sites in communities throughout B.C. BC Hydro is looking to add 3,000 ports to its network over the next 10 years. The chargers are funded in a partnership with the Province of B.C. and Natural Resources Canada.