In Canada, the widespread proliferation of electric cars has prompted some of the nation’s most important fuel retailers to revolutionize their service stations, offering new services to motorists who drive battery-powered vehicles forced to recharge longer than traditional “refueling” hours.
It takes about 45 minutes to fully charge an electric vehicle. So service stations are getting ready for the waiting time. The new energy distributors, in addition to charging stations, have green areas, restaurants, shops, clubs and meeting rooms, high-speed WiFi, mini-markets with refined and high-quality food items.
In Canada, 36,000 electric vehicles were purchased in 2019, up from 9,000 electric vehicles purchased in 2017. The increase in battery-powered cars has reduced total sales of petrol by 14% from 2019. The first two quarters of 2021 are the best for electricity. There are 6,000 charging stations on car sales and consequently highways in Canada. And they are constantly increasing.
“Gas stations have already introduced services such as car washes and convenience stores over the past 30 years, but the changes that are coming will be huge,” said Colin Kaiser, a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Smart Prosperity Institute. “How can I attract electric vehicle customers when their vehicle is charging? I think this is an urgent issue facing petrol stations.
Petro Canada, a subsidiary of Suncore Energy’s retail and wholesale brand, has established charging stations with 57 distributors nationwide, with centers every 250 kilometers on the Trans-Canada Highway, making it one of the longest in the world. Patrick Richie, vice president of sales and marketing at Suncor, says some of the company’s refurbished offices are being used as a test to find out about motorists’ preferences for electric vehicles waiting to be recharged.
Pedro Canada opened a branch in Cookstown in May 2020, offering convenient parking for Toronto motorists heading to Ontario, a lounge for dogs, a waiting room with fireplace and TV, and local and fresh maple syrup production. Richie told the Globe and Mail.
Parkland, which sells petrol in western Canada under brands such as Esso, also opens a network of 25 high-end bases with exclusive charging stations between Vancouver Island and Calgary.
The revolution of petrol pumps towards electricity has begun.
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