Circuit: Prices for charging stations could rise sharply

Electric car owners may soon have to pay more to use Electric Circuit’s public charging stations.

The company Hydro-Québec, which is responsible for managing the network of around 3,500 charging stations in the province, has just introduced a new tariff structure that will henceforth allow charging fees to be changed both upwards and downwards twice a year.

So from today is the 1ah As of June 1st, the owners (municipalities, corporations, hotels, etc.) of around 2,800 Level 2 terminals (standard or 7kW) in Quebec can charge up to $3 per hour (tax included) for a session fee or a flat $10, regardless from the loading time.

Hydro-Québec denies opening the door to a tariff increase. This decision to increase tariffs or not, she points out, rests with its “partners”, public or private owners of three quarters of the charging stations in the province.

“The tariff can increase in some cases, decrease in others and even become free for partners who want to offer this service, which was not possible before,” explains its spokesman Jonathan Côté.

The fee rates had remained unchanged since 2016. The hourly rate was previously $1 per hour (tax included), while the flat fee was capped at $2.50.

With the new structure, we are therefore talking about a possible tripling of the current hourly rate and a flat rate that could be four times as high as today.

For comparison, in Ontario the hourly rate is currently $2 (including tax) and the flat rate is $4.

Regardless, Hydro-Québec argues that such a tariff change has become necessary to ensure the sustainability of the network and increase the number of charging stations.

From now on, the standard terminals can change their prices twice a year on a fixed date, 1 Januaryah June and 1ah December.

According to the regulation adopted by Quebec, charging tariffs for fast terminals (24 to over 100 kW) are indexed once a year at the beginning of the year.

The last indexing dates from last February.

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