At the opening of the Montréal International Auto Show, held from January 18 to 27, 2013, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Hydro-Québec and The Electric Circuit’s founding partners presented very positive results for Québec’s and Canada’s first public charging network, following its first nine months in operation. The Electric Circuit’s other founding partners are Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert, RONA, METRO and the Agence métropolitaine de transport. Twenty new partners have joined The Electric Circuit in recent months and now offer this charging service to their customers (see list below).
With nearly 150 charging stations installed in 34 cities spread across ten Québec regions, The Electric Circuit allows electric vehicle drivers to travel worry-free and benefit from a very unique type of service. Statistics gathered thus far show that users of public charging stations typically plug in their vehicles for an average of 1.8 hours while running errands at partners’ locations. This enables them to drive up to an additional 40 km. Almost 60% of electric vehicle drivers now have an Electric Circuit card and use it in the greater Québec and Montréal areas, as well as in Laval, Montérégie, Estrie, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Outaouais, Bas-St-Laurent and Chaudière-Appalaches.
The Electric Circuit invites the public to visit its kiosk located on the 500 level of the Palais des Congrés de Montréal to learn more about public charging for electric vehicles.
This year, visitors of the Montréal International Auto Show will have a chance to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This activity is organized by CAA-Québec, in partnership with the Montréal Auto Show and The Electric Circuit. The vehicles available for 30-minute test trials are the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, plug-in Toyota Prius, as well as the Ford Focus Electric, Ford C-MAX Energi and Ford Fusion hybrid.
An expanding network in 2013
The network will continue to expand in order to offer broader geographic coverage and serve more EV drivers. To meet the future demand for public charging stations, Hydro-Québec (hydro.qc.ca) has announced that it is coordinating a second open request for proposals on behalf of the Electric Circuit
The Electric Circuit’s business model is attracting a great deal of interest outside of Québec. Discussions are in progress with Vermont and Ontario. In fact, The Electric Circuit announced a first roll-out in the Gatineau region for 2013. Also in 2013, The Electric Circuit will install curbside charging stations in cooperation with the City of Montréal.
“We are delighted that nearly two thirds of EV drivers have an Electric Circuit card,” said Pierre-Luc Desgagné, Senior Director Strategic Planning at Hydro-Québec, on behalf of The Electric Circuit. “The network is very effective as it allows EV owners to take advantage of a top-up service available at a uniform, competitive price. We also invite visitors to test-drive one of the electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles available at the Auto Show. It’s a great opportunity to become familiar not only with electric vehicles, but with the charging process, which is a very simple and user-friendly operation.
Partners of The Electric Circuit
The Electric Circuit’s other founding partners are Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert, RONA, METRO, the Agence métropolitaine de transport and Hydro-Québec. Since the official launch of The Electric Circuit, 20 private and institutional partners have joined:
• Aéroports de Montréal
• Auberge Internationale du Témiscouata
• Bishop’s University
• Cégep de Sherbrooke
• Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke
• Centre de santé et de services sociaux-Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke
• Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke
• City of Joliette
• City of Longueuil
• City of Montréal
• City of Rivière-Rouge
• City of Sherbrooke
• Discount Car & Truck Rentals
• Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
• First Capital Realty
• Place des Arts
• Saint-Laurent borough
• Université de Sherbrooke
The Electric Circuit is a major milestone in the rollout of the plug-in charging infrastructure needed to support the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles in Québec. Although EV owners do most of their recharging at home and at work, the public charging infrastructure enables them to “fill up” on the road whenever they need to. Its Website, theelectriccircuit.com, is updated as new stations are installed or commissioned.