Accessing Public Charging Stations
There are over 1,700 public places to charge an electric vehicle in B.C., including well over 100 fast-charging stations. Most public charging stations include fast-charging stations with CCS and CHAdeMo connections, and “level 2” stations with standard J-1772 or “J-plug” connections.
Many stations require an RFID card or smartphone app to activate. In the past, drivers needed to keep a collection of RFID cards due to different service networks for those stations. Now, most service networks have adopted a roaming agreement so you can use one card or app to access almost everything. There are a few older stations still active, so EV drivers in BC are recommended to sign up for at least two service networks:
- One of Flo, ChargePoint or BC Hydro EV. Stations belonging to these networks are covered by a roaming agreement;
- Greenlots. A few Greenlots stations are still in use. They are not covered by a roaming agreement, but are being replaced with newer units. For now, keep this account handy if you are travelling in the lower mainland or on Vancouver Island.
- SWTCH has stations in Squamish.
As you travel around B.C., you will find charging stations belonging to utilities (BC Hydro, Fortis BC), cities or regional districts. Don’t worry, they can be accessed with the accounts listed above.
Other Charging Stations
- Petro Canada has charging stations that do not require a service network to activate. You can use your credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, similar to using a gas pump.
- The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has installed charging stations at rest areas. These stations do not require any accounts or credit cards. Just follow the instructions posted on-site or on PlugShare.
- Tesla vehicles can use the Tesla Supercharger network, which is handled by an exiting Tesla account. Note: Tesla vehicles can access non-Tesla fast charging stations using a CHAdeMO adapter, but other vehicles cannot use Tesla charging stations.
Know Before You Go
Charging an electric vehicle has been simplified over the past few years (and it wasn’t complicated to begin with). When you plan a trip using PlugShare or any of the charging network apps, you can see details about activating specific stations – plus other handy info like the number of connections and way-finding tips.