3 July 2023
In Canada, electric vehicles will account for 60% of vehicle sales by 2030, according to targets announced by the federal government in December 2022. To support its plan, the government intends to deploy an additional 50,000 charging stations on the existing network by 2027 (1). While the presence of charging stations on the roads is necessary, optimal use of residential charging stations remains central to large-scale transport electrification.
Access to primary charging
Public charging enables electric vehicles to get the range they need to complete a trip. It generally takes about 30 minutes to charge a vehicle at a fast-charging station. Public charging can also be used for "opportunistic" charging sessions of about one or two hours, such as at a shopping mall or on a street close to shops.
The most common form of charging, known as primary charging, is done overnight or at work. But not everyone has access to a charger at home. People living in apartment buildings often have to look for an accessible public charging point in their neighbourhood to fully charge their battery overnight. There is also the charging needed while being away from home, during a cottage weekend, for example. In this case, the aim is to leave the vehicle to charge nearby, before returning home a few days later.
It is interesting to note that in Canada, the average distance travelled by car is about 45 km per day (2). The growing popularity of working from home is likely to reduce this statistic. A two-hour charging session on a 7.2 kW charging station is enough to recover the kilometres driven daily. In other words, a residential charging station is only used at 15% of its capacity.
Community charging to the rescue
Knowing that the use of residential charging stations is far from optimized, why not share them with a neighbour who doesn't have one, an employee who would like both parking and charging a few times a week, or the tenants of the cottage next door?
A few platforms already exist for those who want to share their charging station. But without a reliable reservation system and a clear price agreement between the two parties, it is difficult to coordinate charging sessions smoothly. Developed in Canada, the Foresta platform offers a community charging solution with a reservation system to manage the relationship between a residential charging station owner and another EV driver. Reservations can be made for a single charge or recurring charging sessions over several months with a clearly defined contract. For example, a Foresta member can book a residential charging station every Monday and Thursday between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The owner of the shared charging station can specify a price to suit his or her needs, and the transaction between the two parties is carried out by credit card.
The number of electric vehicles in Canada exceeded 400,000 in December 2022 (3). If 80% of these electric vehicles are charged at home, this means that more than 300,000 residential charging stations could be used to complement the public charging offer and help accelerate the electrification of transport. Optimizing the use of residential charging stations also means further reducing the carbon footprint by limiting the resources used to manufacture new stations.
Contributing to the EV sector may be easier than you think. Community charging can make a real difference by optimizing existing charging stations that are not being used to their full potential.
Sharing is supporting transport electrification.