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Québec’s Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy

According to government targets, two million light electric vehicles will be on Québec roads by 2030. To keep pace with the exponential growth in the number of electric vehicles and their charging needs, charging infrastructure deployment will need to accelerate across Québec also.

Québec’s Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy 2023–2030—Summary (PDF 1.24 Mb)— lists the measures set out in an ambitious and scalable action plan for equipping Québec with an accessible, reliable and high-performance charging infrastructure to meet electric vehicle drivers needs by 2030 and beyond.

Targets for 2030

The strategy revolves around two targets to be achieved:

  • By 2030, 35% of parking spaces in multiple dwelling buildings will be adapted to allow the installation of charging stations, constituting 600,000 parking spaces.
  • By 2030, Québec will have a total of 6,700 public fast-charging stations and 110,000 Level 2 public charging stations.

Adapt parking spaces in multiple dwelling buildings

Typically, 80% of charging time for personal electric vehicles takes place at the owner’s home. For the 3.2 million people in Québec living in multiple dwelling buildings, access to a charging station at home can be a major challenge. Those who can’t charge their electric vehicle at home, regardless of their type of building, are colloquially known as “charging orphans.”

The Strategy aims to remove this barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles by encouraging the upgrading of 350,000 parking spaces in existing multiple dwelling buildings. This improvement, in addition to the 250,000 new parking spaces that will be equipped with charging connections when they are built, will make it possible to reach the target of 600,000 spaces adapted to allow the installation of charging stations in multiple dwelling buildings.

Accelerate the deployment of the public charging network

Québec is in an enviable position with respect to its public charging infrastructure, with:

  • More than 9,200 public charging stations already in service, including nearly 1,400 DC fast-charging stations, also known as BRCCs in Québec.
  • By March 2022, 39% of all public charging stations in Canada were already located in Québec.
  • 47% of Level 2 public charging stations are currently operated by Hydro-Québec’s “Circuit Électrique” partners. Also, 60% of BRCCs are operated by the “Circuit Électrique”, and the Plan for a Green Economy forecasts that Hydro-Québec will have installed 2,530 of these stations by 2030.

Under the measures set out in the Strategy, public charging facilities will be expanded, in line with the growing number of EV drivers on the province’s roads and to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.

The availability of public charging stations will be increased by 2030, with one public charging station available for every 16 electric vehicles on the road, compared with the current ratio of one for every 23 electric vehicles.

To achieve the objectives set out in the Strategy, private operators will be invited to play a greater role in the installation and operation of new public charging infrastructures. To guarantee user satisfaction, network interoperability and the accessibility of charging stations on all Québec roads will remain a priority.

One strategy, three focus areas

The Strategy proposes a structured plan built around three focus areas:

  • Deploy a charging infrastructure for all types of users
  • Create a favourable business environment
  • Ensure efficient, coordinated and integrated development of charging

The Québec government will play a rallying role and promote a concerted approach among its partners, drawing on the expertise of local companies.

In order to adapt the Strategy’s measures to a market in constantly evolution, updates will be made on a recurring basis, either through enhancements or by the addition of new actions. These improvements take place as part of the annual implementation updates to the Plan for a Green Economy.

Focus 1—Deploy a charging infrastructure for all types of users

Charging infrastructures in Québec must meet the needs of all-electric vehicle users:

  • The infrastructure will have to meet daily charging needs at or near the home, at the workplace, or in public and tourist areas.
  • Public charging infrastructures will have to be available along main roads to enable fast charging on longer trips.
  • In addition to personal vehicles, all other types of electric vehicles will need to be taken into consideration when planning the charging infrastructure required for light vehicle fleets (cabs, delivery vehicles), but also for commercial vehicles, buses, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
  • The density of charging facilities should be denser in the Montreal, Montérégie and Capitale-Nationale regions, in line with the number of vehicles on the road in these areas.
  • Special attention must be paid to regional charging needs and those of off-grid and Indigenous community.

Deployment support measures will take the form of financial assistance programs, pilot projects and innovation projects.

Included measures

  • Provide financial assistance for electrical infrastructure upgrades in existing buildings of five dwellings or more.
  • Adopt regulations for the installation of charging infrastructures in new buildings of five dwellings or more.
  • Increase funding for charging stations in multiple dwelling buildings and workplaces.
  • Set up a pilot project for “charging orphans”.
  • Continue to develop turnkey charging solutions and the intelligent charging management platform.
  • Support the electrification of corporate fleets by providing funding for electric vehicle fleet charging solutions.
  • Provide funding for large-scale electrification projects to support, particularly, the electrification of heavy truck and vehicle fleets.
  • Accelerate the installation of public charging stations (BRCC and Level 2 stations).
  • Carry out a study to monitor the evolution of knowledge on consumer habits to continually align charging facilities with their needs.
  • Accelerate the introduction of public charging stations for heavy trucks along major roadways.
  • Set up a public charging pilot project for heavy trucks.
  • Support the installation of charging stations in the tourism sector.
  • Implement pilot projects for autonomous fast charging stations.
  • Hold information and discussion sessions with Indigenous communities to jointly define their needs and establish a charging action plan.
  • Optimize energy management, in particular by installing connected charging stations at home and at work.
  • Continue the development of integrated energy management systems.
  • Maintain, simplify and improve funding for home and workplace charging stations.
  • Pursue innovation efforts through pilot projects such as wireless induction charging stations, emergency storage, two-way charging (V2G, V2H) and smart buildings.
  • Carry out a study to determine charging infrastructure needs for off-road vehicles.

Focus 2—Create a favourable business environment

Québec already has several companies that are active in the charging sector, such as:

  • charging station manufacturers
  • electrical contractors
  • charging station operators and turnkey solution providers
  • energy management consultants
  • research and innovation centres.

To create a favourable business environment, the government is focusing on awareness, training, knowledge acquisition, regulation and collaboration among key actors.

The strategy will generate multiple business opportunities for these companies, in an already booming sector.

Included measures

  • Enhance training opportunities for charging customers.
  • Launch an awareness-raising campaign aimed at a variety of client groups.
  • Make charging information available on a centralized digital platform to better guide customers.
  • Adapt the pricing of public charging services based on energy consumption.
  • Launch a pricing review to assess possibilities and issues that need to be addressed.
  • Carry out a study to assess cybersecurity risks associated with public and private charging infrastructures.
  • Provide funding to companies to assist in their efforts to comply with cybersecurity requirements and promote energy management.
  • Reduce connection times.
  • Initiate discussions with neighbouring jurisdictions to establish a heavy truck charging corridor.
  • Carry out a pilot project for affiliation with the “Circuit Électrique” and market the solution if it is successful.
  • Initiate discussions with the federal government to optimize charging infrastructure project funding.
  • Implement action to attract and qualify workers to meet the needs associated with the development of the charging infrastructure.
  • Develop statutory and regulatory tools to accelerate and supervise the installation of charging stations.
  • Participate in the development of a standard for the safe, sustainable and coordinated installation of public charging stations.

Focus 3—Governance

Three levels of authorities are to play key roles in the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations in Québec. Each one will be required to make a sustained effort between now and 2030, and act in concert with the other partners.

  • The Gouvernement du Québec sets targets for the deployment of charging stations and the appropriate measures used to achieve them. It will ensure that the statutory and regulatory framework evolves and provide funding for priority initiatives to ensure deployment fairness and inclusivity. Additionally, the government will demonstrate the exemplarity of the State by stepping up the installation of charging infrastructures in public buildings.
  • Hydro-Québec will maintain its targets for charging station installation while ensuring the deployment of charging facilities in remote regions and for heavy vehicles. The utility will pursue its mission to ensure the supply of energy to meet Québec demand and will continue to expand its offering of integrated energy management systems to optimize the use of electricity. Hydro-Québec will respond positively to the growing number of requests for connections and upgrades to private facilities.
  • Québec municipalities will coordinate the deployment of public charging infrastructures within their boundaries, and act as catalysts by leveraging their land-use planning knowledge.

In addition to meeting the targets, implementing the Strategy will require us to be proactive and constantly adapt to the growing needs of electric vehicle users and the new technologies that will emerge between now and 2030 and beyond.

Included measures

  • Set up a permanent governance structure to coordinate the deployment of charging initiatives in Québec.
  • Set up an advisory committee with stakeholders to coordinate charging station deployment.
  • Encourage municipalities to implement charging station solutions through climate plans, supported under the “Accélérer la transition climatique locale” (accelerating local climate transition) measure of the “Plan for a Green Economy”.
  • Ensure the planned development of public charging infrastructures by municipalities.
  • Ensure the availability of charging stations for service vehicles at government buildings.
  • Adapt guidelines for the installation of charging stations at government buildings and other government properties.

A significant budget to enable targets to be reached

A budget of $514 million for the 2023–2028 has been earmarked to carry out the measures announced in the Québec Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy, proof that the Gouvernement du Québec has made a major commitment to the electrification of transport.

The Strategy’s main measures will benefit from the following budgetary allotments:

  • Funding to support private companies in the installation of public charging stations (fast and Level 2 chargers) will be renewed, with an additional budget of $265 million assigned over five years.
  • Funding for upgrading the electrical infrastructure in multiple dwelling buildings will benefit from a budget of $108 million, in addition to the financial assistance already provided for the installation of charging stations in these buildings.
  • Measures to support the deployment of a public charging network for heavy vehicles will be budgeted at $35 million.
  • The tourism sector will be able to count on a budget of $40 million for the installation of charging stations at tourism and lodging sites.
  • Companies will benefit from a budget of $24 million for large-scale electrification projects to support, in particular the electrification of heavy truck and vehicle fleets.
  • Lastly, measures relating to the implementation of pilot projects for autonomous fast-charging stations, in locations where electricity is not available, will be funded with a budget over $7 million.

Financing for all these measures will be provided by the Electrification and Climate Change Fund.

The Strategy’s budget is additional to the $249 million already announced in the 2023–2028 Plan for a Green Economy’s implementation plan for measures targeting charging station installation.

Last update: September 7, 2023

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