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The Electric Circuit adds EV chargers with dynamic power sharing

Dual charging outlets in high-traffic Quebec corridors; utilize winter-tested Kempower units

IMAGE: The Kempower fast-charging stations installed in Riviere-du-Loup
The Kempower fast-charging stations installed in Rivière-du-Loup. (Courtesy the Electric Circuit)

The Electric Circuit has introduced new power-sharing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations manufactured by Finnish company Kempower in Rivière-du-Loup, Que.

The locations were selected because they're high-traffic sites with room for larger vehicles to charge; and the units for their suitability to Canada's harsh climate.

The charging stations were distributed by Bornes Québec.

The three dual charging outlets share 500 kilowatts of power dynamically distributed among connected vehicles based on their respective charging capacities. Each charging cable can deliver up to 300 kilowatts.

The Electric Circuit is the largest public EV charging network in Québec. It consists of more than 4,500 public charging stations, including over 830 fast-charge stations. Launched in March 2012 by Hydro-Québec, it was the first public EV charging network in Canada and now serves all of Québec and parts of eastern Ontario.

“We have several different providers for charging stations,” Jonathan Côté, a spokesperson for Hydro-Québec and the Electric Circuit, told SustainableBiz. “We want to try new things when we see new products that are available, and see how we can integrate them.”

The Electric Circuit and Kempower

The first of the new stations was installed at 80 Boulevard Cartier in Rivière-du-Loup, where the St-Hubert restaurant, a founding member of the Electric Circuit, agreed to provide space.

The Electric Circuit began with Rivière-du-Loup largely because of the heavy tourist traffic in the summer, as many people drive through the area to get to eastern Quebec.

"It's a very popular road in the summer. We always look at the statistics, how are people using our network, and we've seen that this area had a lot,” Côté explained. “Since we wanted to have a drive-thru experience, we needed to have a bit of a bigger site. So we needed to have a partner that had a big enough location to accommodate it.”

According to Côté, this is the first Kempower installation in Canada. He explained that the Electric Circuit was drawn to Kempower’s chargers for two reasons.

“There's the power sharing, which really allows us to optimize the site for us, because with 500 kilowatts, it can be split dynamically between the cars. So it really optimizes the use of the site for us, but also for the people that are using it,” he said. “The other thing that we liked about these chargers is the way that physically they are set up.”

Essentially, vehicles hauling trailers and even travel trailers will be able to easily enter and exit the area like pulling up to a gas station, thanks to what Côté said is its smaller physical footprint.

"The Kempower charging stations are already proven to work in Finnish winter conditions. The tried-and-tested technology is perfectly adapted to our climate and the diversity of electric vehicles on Québec's roads," Guy Lamarche, Bornes Québec’s general manager, said in a statement.

Electric Circuit’s future installations

There are more Kempower stations under contract, although Côté did not get into detail on locations.

However, he did explain the Electric Circuit would likely target sites with significant trailer and camper usage.

“Anything that really facilitates our usage of our users, and that's one of the concepts that seems promising. And if there are other charging station manufacturers that come up with similar designs, we're going to be looking into them as well,” Côté said.

“You want to keep it (to) a variety of providers.”

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