Ivy Charging Network opening electric charging across northwestern Ontario

Natali Trivuncic
Staff Writer

The Ivy Charging Network is hoping it has made electric cars more feasible in the north, with the addition of fast-charging stations at the Fort Frances Canadian Tire.

The Ivy Charging Network is a partnership between Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One. Natural Resources Canada, provided an $8 million repayable contribution to Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation to help build the network through its Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. It has opened locations in Fort Frances, Dryden, Hearst, Atikokan, Terrace Bay, Geraldton and Timmins.

Theresa Dekker, Vice President, Corporate Business Development & Strategy at Ontario Power Generation, and Co-President of Ivy Charging Network, said they are building a network that will allow people to travel wherever they would like to go, north to south, east to west across the province.

“We thought it was really important to build out a network that has chargers across the province, gives good coverage and makes it easy, reliable and seamless to charge on the go,” Dekker said.

Dekker said they have been focused on implementing the charging stations in the north to start with 23 charging stations currently up and running across the province.

She adds that having the station in Fort Frances will give drivers that may be interested in an electric vehicle the chance to feel confident in actually moving in that direction.

“When we think about electric vehicles, one of the concerns that people sometimes have is whether they can get where they want to go and get the charge that they need to get to their destination,” Dekker said.

According to Electric Autonomy Canada, the total number of zero-emission vehicles continues to rise in Canada with approximately 46,000 in Ontario.

For the first half of 2020, the best-selling battery electric vehicle sold in Canada was Tesla’s Model 3, with 6,826 sold. Following that is the Chevrolet Bolt with 1,618 sold and the Hyundai Kona with 1,155 sold.

The Ivy Network Charging station at the Canadian Tire has four fast-charging ports, charging 30 cents a minute to charge an electric vehicle.

At the site of the charging station, there is the option to either call through to the call center or have money loaded on to the RFID card provided by Ivy Charging Network which must be registered for in advance to using the station.

There is also an app available to Apple and Android device that shows which charging stations are available and which are in use.

The company opened its first location in Huntsville, ON in 2019 and anticipates 160 fast-chargers will be operational across more than 70 locations by the end of 2021.