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The Electric Circuit announces major improvements to the charging station at L’Étape

Press Release

December 13, 2023

The Electric Circuit, the largest public charging network for electric vehicles in Québec, has announced the introduction of new fast-charge stations at the Coq Rôti restaurant at L’Étape, in the Réserve faunique des Laurentides, in order to facilitate electric vehicle charging and reduce lineups as much as possible.

In addition to the six fast-charge stations already available at L’Étape, the Electric Circuit is adding two 180-kW charging stations and one 200-kW station with power sharing from FreeWire Technologies, a company that uses a new technology to charge an electric vehicle up to 200 kW or two electric vehicles that are connected simultaneously up to 100 kW. A vehicle with a trailer can also easily connect to the new charging station.

With an integrated battery, FreeWire’s Boost Charger is a very interesting solution for grid management because its peak-period energy needs are close to 8 times less than those of traditional charging stations, which reduces energy demand during peak periods and lessens the impact of EV charging on the power grid. The charging stations can therefore be easily deployed in areas where the three-phase system is not present and where it wasn’t possible until now to offer more than 25-kW fast charging.

The Electric Circuit would like to thank Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program for its financial support for the installation of the new charging stations.

Finally, the L’Étape charging station now has a generator from GAL Power Systems in Saguenay. The generator will supply two 50-kW charging stations and the 200-kW charging station, which will help to maintain the charging service in the event of a power outage in the sector.

Planning your trip and your charging session

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Electric Circuit would like to share a few tips with EV drivers to optimize their travels on Highway 175 between the city of Québec and Saguenay:

  • EV drivers can use several fast-charge stations in the Saguenay and Québec City regions in addition to or instead of charging their vehicle at L’Étape. For instance, they can charge their vehicle using the fast-charge stations in Laterrière and Stoneham before entering the Réserve faunique des Laurentides.
  • It may also be better to charge your vehicle at two different locations instead of one long charging session. For many vehicles, the charging speed decreases significantly with the increase in the battery charge level. Therefore, if your vehicle doesn’t have enough range to cross the reserve, you may have to charge at L’Étape, but it is worth asking yourself whether you really need a full charge.
  • When charging your electric vehicle at L’Étape, it may be a good idea to reduce the charging time. The Electric Circuit’s trip planner is the perfect tool to ensure you reach your destination with enough power while reducing the number of stops you need to make.

Quotations

“We applaud Hydro-Québec’s work to secure its power grid. Access to FreeWire’s integrated battery charging technology will enable the company to provide ultrafast charging without adding more pressure to its network infrastructure.”

–       Ethan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Policy at FreeWire

“L’Étape is a strategic location for EV drivers travelling between Québec City and Saguenay. In keeping with its mission to provide a reliable charging service throughout Québec, the Electric Circuit welcomes FreeWire’s technology as an excellent way to improve its service while limiting the impact on the power grid. What’s more, adding a generator to supply certain charging stations during a power outage makes the service more robust regardless of weather conditions.”

–       France Lampron, Director – Mobility and head of the Electric Circuit at Hydro-Québec

About FreeWire Technologies

FreeWire Technologies was founded in 2014 and is an industry leader in ultrafast EV charging and energy management solutions solving grid infrastructure constraints and supporting the global transition to electric vehicles. FreeWire’s network of battery-integrated Boost Chargers™ transform the way energy is distributed and bridge the gap from legacy infrastructure to future technology. FreeWire products are used by Fortune 100 companies, commercial and utility customers, fleets, retail locations, and gas stations across North America and Europe. For more information, go to freewiretech.com.

About the Electric Circuit

The Electric Circuit is the largest public charging network for electric vehicles in Québec. It consists of more than 5,000 public charging stations, including close to 900 fast-charge stations, in every region of the province. Electric Circuit users have access to a 24/7 telephone help line as well as a charging-station locator service. The Electric Circuit website and app for iOS and Android are updated as new stations are installed. Members can also use the Electric Circuit app to access the FLO network, the ChargePoint network, Shell Recharge, Hypercharge, SemaConnect and Swtch anywhere in North America as well as New Brunswick’s eCharge network.

Information about fast-charge stations

Charging your EV at a 100-kW fast-charge station can add up to 400 km of range per charging hour, depending on weather conditions and the power of the vehicle’s on-board charger. A vehicle’s range is also affected by driving style as well as the use of heating or air conditioning.

Information:

Louis-Olivier Batty, Media Officer
Hydro-Québec
514 289-4214
batty.louis-olivier@hydroquebec.com

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