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The 1019 Report

Local Journalis Initiative

There are 62 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Vaudreuil-Soulanges – or roughly 0.9 per cent of the 7,000 public ports scattered throughout the province.

That percentage might seem alarmingly low but, according to Hydro-Québec spokesperson Jonathan Côté, it’s on par with EV driver trends.

“Typically, electric vehicle owners will charge at home in about 95 per cent of cases,” explained Côté, who said Hydro-Québec operates more than half of the public charging stations in Quebec. “Public charging is mainly used for visits outside of the region.”

That means the public chargers installed in the 1019 area are unlikely to be used by actual Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents. Rather, they’re used by people from other regions who are passing through the area.

Still, Côté says Hydro-Québec does intend to add more public services in the area. By the end of the year, three new stations will be installed in Rivière Beaudette, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Rigaud, although the exact locations have yet to be determined.

After that, the company is planning to beef up its existing stations. Current offerings will be upgraded, with transport electrification delegate Martin Archambault envisioning locations in Vaudreuil-Soulanges with six to eight public chargers grouped closely together.

“Eventually, the plan is to densify,” he said during a virtual conference held with the Association des Véhicules Électriques du Québec (AVEQ) last month.

The three new public ports being added to the region will be designated as Level 3 chargers. Also known as fast-charging stations, they can add 200 kilometres to an electric car’s range in as little as an hour.

They’re also much more costly for Hydro-Québec to install, with prices starting at $60,000.

Currently, only 11 of the 62 public charging stations in the region are fast charging.

Meanwhile, regular stations cost between $10,000 to $13,000 to install, but only add around 40 kilometres to a car’s range in that same amount of time.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into installing public chargers, particularly in remote regions,” said Côté. “It’s not just about cost; we also have to find partners who are interested in having stations installed on their premises, and make sure that the connection from the nearest electrical grid is strong enough.”

There are only 500 fast-charging stations in Hydro-Québec’s provincial network. According to Côté, the goal is to bring that number up to 2,500 by 2030.

That’s not the utility’s only target, however. Along with the provincial government, Hydro- Québec is making efforts to ramp up the sale of electric vehicles in the coming years.

The goal is to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road in the province by 2030. Currently, that number stands at roughly 126,000.

While there are no exact numbers regarding electric vehicle ownership in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the latest figures from the AVEQ points to 29,884 electric vehicles in the Montérégie, which stretches from La Prairie on the South Shore to the Ontario border, and includes Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

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