BC Hydro powers up EV charging network with 180-kW units

BC Hydro is set to bolster its fast-charging network with the introduction of higher-powered 180-kilowatt (kW) charging units. These units are designed to add up to 180 kilometers of driving range in 10 minutes.

The 180kW charging units not only deliver speed but also feature dual charging or power-sharing capabilities, enabling two customers to utilize the same charger simultaneously. For example, a 180-kilowatt charger can adapt to provide two 90-kilowatt charging units, optimizing accessibility to public charging stations.

Initial communities set to benefit from these units include Tumbler Ridge, Manning Park, Mackenzie, and Surrey. Installation is slated to start in late fall 2023, with many new locations planned for 2024 also featuring these high-powered charging units.

With British Columbia at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption and home to one of Canada’s largest public electric vehicle charging networks, this move represents a significant stride toward providing more convenient and efficient charging options for drivers, BC Hydro explained in a press release.

“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. These new higher-powered chargers have the ability to charge electric vehicles in a fraction of the time,” said The Hon. Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation.

The growing adoption of electric vehicles in British Columbia is undeniable, with over 120,000 EVs now on the province’s roads. BC Hydro projects a future where the EV count could range from 700,000 to 900,000 within the next decade.

BC Hydro’s fast-charging network currently consists 153 charging units at 84 sites across the province. Looking ahead, the utility aims to add an additional 3,000 ports to its network over the next decade, supported through funding partnerships with the Province of B.C. and Natural Resources Canada.

The BC Utilities Commission recently rejected BC Hydro’s request to increase charging fees at their stations.

BC Hydro has already revealed it is looking to add Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) port to their EV charging stations.

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