Blog / The Electric Circuit Turns 10, Looks to an Even Brighter Future

The Electric Circuit Turns 10, Looks to an Even Brighter Future

Electric vehicles are hot right now, but 10 years ago the story was pretty different. Someone still needed to step up to meet the demand for charging stations in public spaces.

That’s what Hydro-Quebec did. Launched on March 30, 2012, the Electric Circuit has now become one of the most extensive public charging networks for EVs in all of North America.

10 Years of Evolution

Initially, Hydro-Quebec sought the support of four private partners including Rôtisseries St-Hubert, RONA, exo (formerly the Agence métropolitaine de transport) and Metro, which committed to having a hundred public charging stations installed on their premises, mainly in the Montreal and Quebec City areas. That’s how the Electric Circuit started.

Over the years, the network has kept pace with the evolving needs of drivers and increasing EV battery capacities. Today, there are more than 3,400 charging stations, including 600 fast-charging stations, some of which are grouped in superstations. The network now serves the entire province and parts of eastern Ontario.

The Electric Circuit has also adapted to new consumer technologies. One example is the mobile app, which not only provides the locations of charging stations and processes payments, but also allows users to plan their trips based on a range of parameters, report a problem on the network that was not detected automatically, and enhance their experience with promotional offers.

What’s Next?

Considering the progress made in these first 10 years, we can only imagine what’s in store for the next 10 years. Expect increasingly powerful—and perhaps more visually appealing—charging stations, trials with new technologies, new station configurations and smart proposals to help EV drivers who live in apartments or who don’t have easy access to home charging.

In 2022 alone, Hydro-Quebec will implement a number of pilot projects to test heavy vehicle charging, off-grid charging in remote areas and mobile charging for short-term needs like public events. It’s also developing partnerships—like the one recently signed with ChargePoint—so that Electric Circuit members can access other charging networks in Quebec and beyond more easily.

EV availability may be a major issue at the moment due to limited production, but when it comes to charging, the Electric Circuit has you covered.