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Multires sector offers big potential for growth in EV charger market

Hypercharge, ParkCo deploy 58 units at Ontario condo development, part of rapidly growing trend

An example of a Hypercharge Level 2 electric vehicle charger that will be installed in the Gaslight Condominium District. (Courtesy Hypercharge Networks Corp.)

An order for 58 electric vehicle chargers at a Cambridge, Ont. condominium development is part of a trend to scale-up access to chargers at multiresidential and other privately owned buildings, according to a Hypercharge Networks Corp., (HC-NE) executive.

Hypercharge, a turnkey electric vehicle (EV) solutions provider headquartered in Vancouver, will supply the chargers to Waterloo-based ParkCo for the Gaslight Condominiums development. Most of the units will be reserved for residents, although several will also be available for visitors' use.

Installation is expected to be completed in Q3 2023.

Ian Hodgins, Hypercharge’s head of growth and partnerships in Eastern Canada, told SustainableBiz the company continues to expand its relationship with ParkCo as it prepares the condo for a future when EVs will be more common on our roadways.

Kyle Green, senior marketing manager at Hypercharge, said, “When we go into a site, we really take a look at the picture as a whole. It’s about what (are) the requirements for the needs now, but also what are the requirements going to be in the future,” such as lowering costs and listening to customer needs.

How Hypercharge operates

Hypercharge offers hardware, cloud software and support services for EV charging across a range of properties such as multiresidential, retail and institutional. Hodgins said its ethos is, “Make it easy, make it work,” so EV adoption is as frictionless as possible.

The company has three ownership models:

  • The first is directly purchasing EV charging equipment allowing the owner to set prices and policies for charging.
  • The second is a lease model where the cost of the stations is spread over a period of five to seven years with control over operations and retaining charging revenues.
  • The third is Charging-as-a-Service, where EV charging is an amenity that shares revenues between the owner and Hypercharge.

Green said all the models apply to private and public parking lots.

The Hypercharge-ParkCo relationship

Hodgins said it was a “no-brainer” to partner with ParkCo – a preferred partner that offers software to optimize parking space and process visitors’ parking payments – because it aligns well with its technology.

The Gaslight development is the fourth collaboration between the two companies.

Markham-based Signature Electric Limited will be installing the EV chargers.

Hodgins said Signature Electric approached Hypercharge and said it had availability through Peak Power to deploy funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to support the project. Signature Electric asked Hypercharge to find sites to deploy the capital.

Hypercharge is no stranger to large EV charging station installation projects, having announced deals over the past seven months to install hundreds in B.C., including 135 Level 2 charging stations across 16 properties in the province on Wednesday.

B.C., Green said, is seeing a “massive trend” in EV adoption, which is also taking place in Ontario.

Green said he could not provide specific growth figures, but noted "the average number of chargers requested per multifamily building has increased significantly in the last year."

In 2022, Hypercharge had almost 1,500 ports in sales orders and delivered 500 ports.

The Gaslight condo district installations

The 20-storey, 400-suite mixed-use Gaslight Condominium District in the West Galt neighbourhood of Cambridge is being developed and built by HIP Developments. Hodgins likened it to Toronto’s Distillery District, where former distilleries are being converted into condos, event spaces and restaurants.

Eighty-five per cent of the Level 2 EV chargers will be in resident-owned stalls and 15 per cent will be in the visitors’ parking area.

“HIP just saw that this was a great opportunity to put them in. They approached their owners and units and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this great opportunity to put in this infrastructure and put in the EV chargers. Who wants to participate?’ and they ended up getting a bunch of uptick from it.”

Hodgins said ParkCo will likely manage the commercial aspects and the residential stalls will be behind a separate closed gate that ParkCo will not manage.

The chargers are designed for overnight charging in a multiresidential setting. Though it is difficult to state an average charging time, because batteries come in a multitude of sizes, Hodgins said a rough figure for overnight EV charging is approximately five to six hours.

Meeting the growing need for EV chargers in Ontario

Ontario is seeing greater penetration of EVs, especially in mixed-used or multiresidential developments, Hodgins said. He added it is encouraging to see this trend spread beyond the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and GTA-based developers.

Hodgins expects the Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge areas will be key areas for future growth.

Green said EV chargers are increasingly becoming a desirable amenity in multiresidential buildings because they increase the value of a unit if offered in a parking space. It is also a “forward-thinking solution” because the owner may drive an EV in the future.

Hypercharge is working on deals with other Ontario developers, Hodgins said.

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