- Canadian fuel and c-store operator Parkland has announced plans to build an electric vehicle (EV)-charging network in British Columbia connecting Vancouver Island to Calgary, according to a Wednesday video announcement by the company.
- Parkland is working alongside EV fast charger manufacturer FreeWire Technologies for the rollout, which will include charging stations at 25 On the Run c-stores across Victoria, Vancouver, Chilliwack, Hope, Kamloops, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Golden and Calgary.
- As the largest independent fuel retailer in Canada, as well as its second-largest c-store operator, Parkland’s EV-charging network will directly compete with that of Canadian c-store rival Circle K, which launched earlier this summer.
While EVs only represent around 5% of new-car sales in Canada, according to Parkland, British Columbia is seeing more than twice that traction. As of last year, British Columbia had the highest EV-adoption rate in North America with 13% of all vehicle purchases being electric, according to software company VendorPM.
Parkland’s first EV-charging push aims to curb range anxiety for its community and customers in the region, Darren Smart, SVP of energy transition and corporate development for Parkland, said in the video announcement. The company did not provide a timeline for when its charging stations will arrive.
“British Columbia leads the way in EV adoption, and to help us meet emerging customer needs, this is where we’re focusing our efforts,” he said.
Parkland did not reveal any plans for its EV-charging network to roll out in the U.S., where it supplies fuel to independently owned gas stations and operates 212 c-stores.
As seen in the video, Parkland is using FreeWire’s battery-integrated Boost 150 Charger, which adds as much as 100 miles per 10 minutes of charging. It also offers dual connectors, which provides simultaneous charging compatible with any type of EV model.
Parkland’s announcement of its shift into EV charging comes about a week after the company highlighted its company-wide struggles during Q3 — especially in its U.S. business — where its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dipped CA$39 million compared to the previous 52 weeks. Parkland did not provide any indication during its third-quarter update that it would be moving into EV charging.
Parkland’s EV-charging program continues what’s shaping up to be a significant EV ramp up in the c-store industry. Last year, Circle K and Couche-Tard set a goal of having 200 charging sites by 2024, while 7-Eleven revealed plans to develop at least 500 charging stations at 250 stores in both the U.S. and Canada. Other c-store chains in North America that appear to be all-in on EV-charging include Pilot, Phillips 66, Wawa and others.