Petro-Canada completed their coast-to-coast electric vehicle (EV) charging network known as the Electric Highway in late 2019. Since then the network has been plagued with reliability problems, with owners frequently reporting chargers being broken and out of service.
The company has heard the feedback from customers and in an open letter acknowledged the Electric Highway’s poor reliability, explaining some of the reasons behind why it has been such a bad experience for many EV owners.
In the letter, which was published on Electric Autonomy, Petro-Canada says they knew launching a national EV charging network wasn’t going to be easy as they were “first in a [developing] market” and an “early adopter of new technology.”
The company explains that problems with the technology were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which impacted supply chains limiting the availability of parts. When they did have the parts, Petro-Canada says travel restrictions made it difficult to get technicians to repair the EV chargers.
Despite the challenges they say are committed to improving the reliability of their network.
“Our immediate priorities focus on refining the reliability of our chargers — including hardware and digital capabilities — and enhancing communications with EV drivers. This will improve the network today and prepare us for expansion as we add new stops to Canada’s Electric Highway,” Petro-Canada said.
Petro-Canada has their work cut out for them.
A review of Plugshare shows that over 20% of their stations are currently out of order. Based on comments from users and our readers, some of these stations have been unavailable for over a year.
You can read the full letter over at Electric Autonomy.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article said the Petro-Canada mobile app doesn’t show the locations of their EV charging stations. While this remains true, there is a separate Petro-Canada EV app that does show the locations and their status. This reference has been removed. We apologize for any confusion caused.