A New Electric Highway

A New Electric Highway

As they looked toward the future at Tuesday’s launch of the final link of Petro Canada’s cross-country network of level 3 charging stations, there was an acknowledgement from all present of the past history of Canada and British Columbia.

In November of 1885, the founders of the Canadian Pacific Railroad gathered at Craigellachie, BC to drive in the last spike of the transcontinental railroad long credited for finally linking Canadians from Coast to Coast.

And indeed, it was the photograph above that sparked the Suncor (Petro-Canada’s parent company) decision to build its new electric highway after one of its marketing team noticed the child in the photo, wondered how the completed railroad had affected his future and then wondered aloud in the boardroom how they should be responding to the needs of our own next generation.

Completed in less than a year, Suncor’s electric highway now runs from Stewiacke, Nova Scotia to Saanich, BC with 50 multiple charger locations no further apart than 250 Km.

The new island location at Sayward Road and the Pat Bay Highway is now open to the public with free charging available until early January, while a local price for charging is established.

The site features two DCFC units with both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors which can provide up to a 200 Kw charge – supplying an 80% charge to most EVs in under 30 minutes. The units are upgradable to 350 Kw charging once vehicles capable of handling higher levels become commonplace.

“With more than 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in Canada and an average of 4,000 EVs added each month, we know that this is an important step in meeting the current and future driving needs of Canadians,” said Mark Little, president and chief executive officer of Suncor. “We want to be part of the total solution to meet energy demand and reduce the carbon footprint of the transportation system. Canada’s Electric Highwayᵀᴹ is one of the ways we are able to support the total solution.

Equally ebullient was Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, voicing his pleasure at his municipality being home to the final link in the Petro-Canada chain, and reminding those present of Saanich’s ongoing leadership in establishing and enabling the infrastructure for a future of zero-emission transportation.

There weren’t any kids in the background whose future we could wonder about as the official ribbon was cut. But you couldn’t help but notice the cadre of beaming managers of the South Island’s other Petro-Canada stations. Young men and women from a myriad of backgrounds, a clear representation of Canada’s future, all hoping their location will be the next to be electrified.

There is no doubt Canada’s Electric Highway will be expanding.