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Trans-Canada Highway charges up

Charge stations will be installed at 34 locations along the highway roadway, connecting Ontario and Manitoba Provinces

Fast-charging stations will be installed along the Trans-Canada Highway
Fast-charging stations will be installed along the Trans-Canada Highway

Three companies have joined forces to develop and install a network of 34 fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) in a bid to encourage take up of electric vehicles.


The project entails an investment of CAD $17.3m and is being partially funded by a CAD $8m repayable contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Canadian Energy Innovation Programme.


This public private initiative will be supported by an investment from the partners eCamion, based in Toronto, Dallas-based Leclanché North America and SGEM, Geneva. eCamion and Leclanché have formed a Toronto-based joint venture, named Fast Charge to manage the TCH project.


“Canada recognises the key role electric vehicles will play in reducing emissions from the transportation sector,” said Jim Carr, Canada’s minister of natural resources. “With more electric vehicles becoming available, we want to make them an easy choice for Canadians.


“This strategic investment brings us closer to having a national coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle charging stations while growing our economy and creating good jobs for Canada’s middle-class.”


The new system being developed by Fast Charge consists of an energy storage system, using large-format lithium-ion batteries, along with multiple outlet charging units that can charge several EVs at once.


This architecture helps overcome the current level 2 slow charge issue (requiring six to eight hours) by acting as a buffer between the grid and the vehicle and allowing EVs to be charged rapidly from the advanced lithium ion batteries instead of directly but more slowly from the grid.


According to Fast Charge, this will enable faster charging at level 3 and higher, allowing EV drivers to charge their vehicles in just 20 minutes.


“Our system will recharge the battery storage units during off-peak times at considerable cost-savings and reduction in stress to the grid,” added Bryan Urban, EVP of Leclanché North America and president of Fast Charge.


“Vehicles will be able to power up during peak hours using off-peak energy and continue on their journey in a relatively similar amount of time it would take to fuel a fossil-fuel vehicle, grab a snack and visit a bathroom.”


At the core of each station will be Fast Charge’s state-of-the-art, energy storage system featuring advanced lithium-ion batteries with scalable capacity that will draw and store energy from the grid for use by charging units whenever required. Each station will have three charging units to allow three vehicles to be charged simultaneously.


Fast Charge has already started work on the demonstration units with a target completion date of December 2017. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018 with installation of EV charging stations to be completed through the remainder of 2018.


The charge stations will be installed at 34 locations along the Trans-Canada Highway roadway connecting Ontario and Manitoba Provinces.


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