Charging an electric car is easy. Discover the different charging option for your plug-in vehicle: Types of charging stations for home and how to find and use public charging stations.
At home, there are two possible charging options: use the charging station provided in the vehicle equipment to plug into a 120V outlet, or purchase a 240V charging station and have it installed by an electrician.
A plug-in vehicle’s equipment always includes a 120 V charging station that plugs into a standard household outlet.
Charging speed with this method goes up to 6 km per hour. Vehicles with less than 20 kWh battery are usually full after 3 to 12 hours when charging at 120 V.
The main benefit of a 240 V charging station is its greater charging speed, which is three to five times faster than 120 V charging. The vehicle will gain up to 40 km of range per hour when charging with such a station.
Some EV drivers therefore opt for 240 V charging at home. Charging will take 3 hours or less for smaller batteries (20 kWh or less) and up to 12 hours for larger batteries (100 kWh)
With the vehicle’s dashboard or mobile application, you can schedule specific charging hours, making it possible, among other things, to optimize battery conditioning according to a planned departure time.
This function also helps avoid peak periods during winter months, following Hydro-Québec’s recommendations.
Québec is home to several manufacturers of residential charging stations. Other North American models are also available. Prices range from about $700 to $1,300 depending on models and their options.
Installing a 240 V charging station requires a master electrician. However, it is a relatively simple operation comparable to the installation of a stove outlet. Installation costs vary depending on context, but the average is about $500. Two main factors that can increase the cost are the distance of the electrical panel as well as a possible power upgrade (if the electrical panel is full).
The Gouvernement du Québec's Drive Electric program allows drivers who buy or lease a plug-in vehicle to receive up to $600 in financial support for the purchase and installation of a charging station (240 V) at home.
Some municipalities including Dorval, Granby, Joliette, Magog, Mascouche, Prévost and Sherbrooke offer additional financial support for the acquisition of a residential charging station.
Access to charging at work encourages the acquisition of a plug-in vehicle, which is why the Gouvernement du Québec – through Transition énergétique Québec – offers financial assistance to businesses wishing to make charging available for their employees.
Branché au Travail program : Financial assistance may be granted for the purchase and installation of charging stations at the workplace (50% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $5,000 per charging station).
For charging on the road, an EV driver plans breaks according to charging needs. A stop at a tourist destination, a meal break or a snack all become opportunities to plug in. Public charging networks include three types of charging stations: 240 V charging stations, DC fast charging stations (DCFC) and Tesla Superchargers.
Several online tools and mobile applications help find charging stations from different charging networks. The most commonly used ones in Québec are chargehub. com and plugshare.com. They include charging stations of all public charging networks, the main ones being: Le Circuit Électrique, Flo, EVduty, Tesla and ChargePoint.
According to his or her travels, planned stops and vehicle compatibility, an EV driver will choose between a 240 V charging station, a DC fast charging station (DCFC) or, in the case of Tesla vehicles, a Supercharger.
Public 240V charging stations
Spaces next to charging stations are reserved for charging electric vehicles. Once a charging session is completed, the vehicle must be moved to free up the charging station.
Spaces reserved for charging. It’s the law!
Since May 18th, 2018, article 388.1 of the Highway Safety Code stipulates that «Only electric road vehicles and plug-in hybrid road vehicles may stop in a space reserved for recharging electric vehicles [...] when they are plugged into a charging station». Offenders will be fined $100 to $200.
Recommendation: 80% maximum at a DCFC
At DC fast charging stations (DCFC), it is recommended to stop charging once battery level is around 80%, as the charging speed decreases when approaching this point.
If more power is needed, it might be more efficient to continue charging on a 240 V station. Alternatively, if another DCFC is available along the way, it is usually preferable to continue further and charge again later.