Charging stations sprouting up along Highway 20 from Montreal to Mont-Joli

Montreal - - Drivers of electric vehicles soon will be able to venture farther without fear of a power outage.

Hydro-Québec and the provincial government announced Monday that “the electrification of Highway 20” from Montreal to Mont-Joli will be completed this fall with the installation of high-speed charging stations in St-Hyacinthe at the Saint-Hubert restaurant, Laurier-Station at the Tim Hortons, Montmagny, Rivière-du-Loup, Rimouski and Trois-Pistoles.

They will join a network that already includes Boucherville, Ste-Julie, Daveluyville, Drummondville, Quebec City, Lévis, La Pocatière and Mont-Joli.

Other “power corridors” are in development to link Montreal with Ottawa and the states of Vermont and Maine.

The 400-volt charging stations — which cost $60,000, of which Hydro-Québec pays half — allow vehicles to replenish their power supply in about 20 minutes, at a fraction of the cost of gasoline.

Premier Philippe Couillard, present for the announcement at the electric-vehicle symposium at the Palais des Congrès, called it an important step in creating an environment propitious to the adoption of clean, renewable energy alternatives in Quebec.

“Our fuel, our future, is hydro-electricity,” Couillard said. “People are getting the message,” he said, pointing to steady growth in the number of fully electric and hybrid vehicles sold in the province. That number now exceeds 10,000.

Quebec has an objective of 100,000 electric and hybrid vehicles in the province by 2020.

Couillard said he’s hoping Quebec’s initiatives in the promotion and development of electric transportation will eventually result in a manufacturing presence here from a global builder, not just more electric vehicles in the province.

Hydro-Québec chief executive officer Éric Martel said the province currently has more than 600 charging stations, 32 of them high-speed, and the goal is 2,500 by 2020.


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