Update July 2022
This article is part of our series of EV travel hacks to drive around the world with confidence with an electric vehicle.
Visiting Canada with an EV
6.000 public chargers to cover more than 9 million square kilometers. At first, glance traveling in Canada with an EV could seem a bit daunting. Rest assured, we gathered the best trip planning tools, our favorite EV charging apps, and all the things you need to know to travel in Canada and find places to charge your EV.
Finding and paying for charging
Our top picks
Flo (ex AddEnergie) is probably the most versatile app to access and pay for public charging in Canada. Starting as a charging point operator, Flo provides access via roaming agreements to most charging point networks in Canada including Circuit Electrique and ChargePoint. If you want to venture South, the app is also compatible with the main public charging point networks in the US.
This subsidiary of power company Hydro Quebec operates the largest charging network in Canada with more than 3.400 public charging locations including 600 fast-charging stations.
Its app is compatible with most charging networks but will add a roaming fee of 0.75-1.25$ for all sessions started with other networks (except Flo).
ChargeHub aggregates 60.000 charging stations in North America in an easy-to-use interface. With its search feature and filter option, you can easily find the nearest public charging stations for your electric car.
Plugshare boasts one of the most comprehensive charging databases in the world and provides excellent coverage in Canada. On top of detailed information about charging connectors or nearby businesses, it contains a wealth of information thanks to its large and loyal community of EV drivers. Comments, pictures, and recent check-ins from the community members will help you choose the perfect location. The only issue is you can’t pay with it.
The US app ChargePoint is a reliable and competitive partner all across North America and Canada is no exception. The app will grant you access to most charging networks in Canada and the US.
JuicePass is probably the only EV app that provides information and payment in Europe, and North and South America. If you have an account already, it is probably a safe bet.
Things to remember
Flo and Circuit Electrique should be your best bet when traveling in Canada. They provide access to most charging points in the country while offering attractive prices.
If you only pass by Canada or don’t want to create yet another account, ChargePoint is a good alternative.
Plan your itinerary
ABRP or A Better Route Planner is probably the best EV route planning tool in Europe. It is no exception in Italy and will suit the needs of the most demanding users with lots of options and filters available to precisely plan your trip according to your need and preference. With compatible cars or via an additional dongle, ABRP will be able to read your vehicle's state of charge and adjust in real-time to your route and planned stops.
The app does not only offer charging information and payment but also provides a trip planning tool. Unique in its approach, ChargeHub, instead of asking parameters such as the car model, battery level, and other options, will let you filter potential stopping points by simply asking how long you are willing to drive off your path and how often you want to stop. Give it a try if you don’t find what you need with other try planners.
Available fast charging networks
Despite the distance and if you don’t plan to venture into the far north, Canada’s main travel corridors are well dotted with charging infrastructure and most operators are compatible with the most popular charging apps or accept direct payment with a credit card.
Good to know for Tesla owners
If you are a Tesla owner, you will only be able to fast-charge on Tesla Superchargers as all other networks are equipped with CCS connectors. These DC connectors are unfortunately not compatible with Tesla adaptors.
Flo and Circuit Electrique
As described above, the two companies have an extensive network of slow and fast chargers in most Canadian provinces and are a good option if your itinerary passes by one of their locations.
The northern brother from Electrify America operates fast and ultra-fast chargers in 32 locations in Canada. Mostly located along the Quebec-Toronto corridors in the East and Vancouver-Calgary in the West, the operator is planning to cover the country coast to coast by 2026. Electrify America chargers accept payment with a credit card but you can benefit from discounted charging prices if you become a member at $4 a month ($0.44 vs.$0.57 a minute for guests in July 2022).
The oil company has deployed an extensive network of fast chargers coast to coast, mostly located in the service stations operated by the oil company, the chargers are never more than 250km apart. Payment is by the minute using a credit card.
Tesla operates more than 150 Supercharger locations well distributed all around the country.
As of July 2022, even though Tesla is slowly opening up its network to non-Tesla owners in Europe, it is still not the case in North America.
Good to know
Most fast-charging networks will accept contactless credit card payments but we recommend to register with at least one charging app to access the denser slow charging network as most locations will not be compatible with direct credit card payments.
Find a place to stay with charging
Charge while you sleep. Charging at a destination is always the most convenient and often cheapest option. With r3charge, you can book more than 2.500 EV-friendly hotels in Canada equipped with EV charging stations or located next to public charging. In one glance, find and compare accommodation options for every budget equipped with electric vehicle chargers.
More info here.