By Jessica Finch and Craig Patterson
Large-format multi-category retailer Canadian Tire has announced that it will add nearly 300 electric vehicle (EV) chargers to its store network by 2021. The chargers will be located in 90 of the company’s stores across the country, and is part of a larger eco initiative by the retailer to address consumers increasingly buying electric vehicles.
A total of 240 fast chargers and 55 Level 2 chargers will be installed at the Canadian Tire locations. The new fast chargers are capable of filling a depleted car battery in half-an-hour, while the Level 2 chargers require between two and 10 hours to charge. The chargers are part of a partnership with Tesla, VW Canada’s Electrify Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and FLO.
When completed by 2021, Canadian Tire will be one of the largest retail networks of EV fast charging stations in the country. It builds on the already established and successful network of 21 Electrify Canada charging stations in existence. Originally, the company announced a more limited expansion of that network, in partnership with Electrify Canada, in October.
“Automotive is a heritage category for Canadian Tire and we have always evolved to meet the needs of drivers. With our premium real estate assets, we are able to provide convenient locations across the nation to service the growing number of EV vehicles in Canada,” said Andrew Davies, Senior Vice President, Automotive, Canadian Tire Retail.
The popularity of electric vehicles is on the rise — according to Electric Mobility Canada, record numbers of Canadian drivers continued to adopt electric vehicles. In the third quarter of 2019, sales of electric vehicles increased 25% year-over-year. To meet the demand, Canadian Tire’s expanded product assortment includes tires, wipers, and brakes products for 90% of electric and hybrid vehicles registered in Canada.
As part of the Canadian Tire EV announcement, Natural Resources Canada announced that it had provided $2.7 million to Canadian Tire for 54 fast-chargers under its Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. In 2016, the same government body also provided $1.3 million to AddÉnergie for 28 fast-chargers at Canadian Tire locations.
The announcement follows a series of other significant expansions to Canadian EV charging networks. In December, Petro-Canada completed its “Electric Highway” network of EV fast chargers, which are servicing the country at over 40 stations between British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
Also in December, Tesla announced a series of new proprietary charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway. To date, nine of these chargers are hosted at Canadian Tire locations, with that number set to eventually increase.
Other retailers and landlords have been adding EV charging stations in Canada as well. That includes Quebec City-based La Maison Simons, which introduced solar-powered EV charging stations to its Londonderry Mall store in Edmonton when it opened in 2017. Landlord Cadillac Fairview has also added EV stations to some of its properties.