Cruising the Light Fantastic: Canada’s Electric Highway

Posted on February 8, 2021

We've all heard of electric cars, but have you heard of the latest addition to Canada's highway infrastructure? This addition is the electric highway. 

Canada's electric highway might sound like a freeway with electric wires running underneath it, but it's actually a bit different. 

The difference between this highway and Canada's other highways is that this one is lined with Petro Canada charging stations. Electric vehicles can now drive from coast to coast the same way that petrol vehicles do.  From Nova Scotia, all the way to British Columbia.

The History of Canada's Electric Highway

Petro-Canada is currently the leading electric vehicle charging provider in the nation. They've been paving the way when it comes to EV charging technology and even electric vehicles themselves.

Before Canada's Electric Highway came into existence, traveling across the country from coast to coast in an electric vehicle simply wasn't possible. 

EV charging stations were located too far apart to make it possible for electric vehicles to travel from the West to the East coast or vice versa. 

And, while many people were still willing to make the journey in traditional fuel-powered cars, that meant contributing to Canada's carbon footprint. 

The company realized that as an industry leader, they had the capability and the power to create an electric highway. The idea was to build an entirely new highway that would traverse the entire country. 

Not only was this a great move towards helping the environment, but it was also a great move for the company financially. 

By building an electric highway, Petro Canada made the reality of buying an electric vehicle much more realistic; especially for road trippers and environmentally conscious folks alike.

Suddenly, people who had concerns about traveling long distances in their EV had a reason to hit the road running.

How Does Canada's Electric Highway Work?

So, we've already mentioned that the Petro Canada Electric highway works by keeping EV charging stations along the way. 

However, this highway also comes with some additional technology that adds to the initiative.

Rather than simply having charging stations that vehicles can plug into along the way, the electric highway comes with its own app. 

When you download the app either through Google Play or the App Store, you can find a charger, charge your vehicle, add a payment method and even monitor your charge.  

The best part about the app is that it doesn't charge you for idling time or for connecting to the electricity. All you pay for is the time that you're actually charging your vehicle. 

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The Cost of Petro Canada EV Charging

One thing to keep in mind is that while the Canada's Electric Highway has done its best to keep prices as low as possible, they may vary by province. 

Before heading out on the electric highway, make sure that you know exactly where you're headed and what the charging fees are in each province. 

The Canadian government has done its best to keep the cost of Petro Canada EV charging to a minimum.

As of right now, the charging stations are doing their best to offer competitive pricing to each one of their customers. 

The amount per minute to charge your vehicle, as mentioned, will vary by province. The current average is $0.20 per minute. 

Pricing as of February 2020:

Alberta$0.33 per minute
British Columbia$0.27 per minute
Manitoba$0.33 per minute
New Brunswick$0.25 per minute
Nova Scotia$0.25 per minute
Ontario$0.33 per minute
Quebec$0.20 per minute
Saskatchewan$0.33 per minute

What is EV Fast Charging?

Fast charging stations are a little different from typical EV chargers in that they use a higher voltage. 

Traditionally, charging stations use a voltage of 100kW. However, most electric vehicles can actually handle up to 350kW of power.

To help vehicles get the most out of their charging potential, Petro Canada decided to make charging stations that could give EVs their full charge potential. 

At fast-charging stations, the chargers will provide EVs with the full 350kW of power, rather than limiting them to a simple 100kW. 

Some vehicles, however, can handle a little bit less than the standard 350kW of power. For these vehicles, the fast charging station will provide the maximum charge that these cars can accept. 

Manufacturers are currently working on creating more electric vehicles that can handle this fast type of charge. At the moment, however, vehicles will be able to accept the fastest charge that their motor can handle.  

One thing that's important to keep in mind with fast charging your electric vehicle is that it is going to cost slightly more than it would to use the standard 60kW charger.

The fast charge system, similar to standard charging, won't incur any idling or connection fees. 

Unlike standard charging, fast charging will incur costs of $0.33 per minute. Still, that cost is extremely low when compared to the total fuel cost of driving from coast to coast.

Making the Switch from Gas to Electricity

With climate change becoming a growing issue, the need for electric vehicles is also increasing. 

Many companies and consumers alike are beginning to realize the positive financial, and environmental impact of switching from gas to electric vehicles. 

As you make the switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric, you're going to want to make sure that you set yourself up with proper car insurance. Also if you plan to travel, the smartest accessory you can pack is your travellers insurance.  Insurdinary is one of Canada's top financial comparison platforms and our team of pros specialize in finding you the best rates possible.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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