Canadian EV charging rates rising after COVID-related declines

Some charging networks report charging sessions nearing pre-COVID levels

Electric vehicle (EV) charging is reportedly returning to pre-COVID levels, according to new data from charging network operators.

As reported by Electric Autonomy, EV charging activity is on the rise and even approaching pre-COVID levels in some areas. In B.C., for example, ‘BC Hydro’ reports June saw nearly 20,000 charging sessions across its 70-station fast-charging network. That comes in just short of the over 21,000 sessions logged in February before COVID-related lockdowns came into place.

Electric Autonomy notes that the stay-at-home orders in mid-March led to a 20 percent drop in the number of public charges that month, followed by a 30 percent drop in April. However, June’s figures represent a 50 percent increase from the lowest point of use in April.

Additionally, the publication notes that most of BC Hydro’s stations are within 300 metres of a major road or highway. The increase could mean long-distance commutes have started up again as workplaces reopen.

BC Hydro wasn’t the only charging network to see increased use. Daniel Nguyen, senior director of marketing at FLO, told Electric Autonomy that the FLO network saw an uptick in charging sessions across the country. After a 48 percent drop in charging usage earlier this year, FLO saw usage in July down just 15 percent compared to the same time last year.

FLO says it saw charging sessions increase by 75 percent between April and July 2020, but July was still 34 percent lower than February.

Source: Electric Autonomy