Tesla's plan to open up Superchargers is now extending to Canada after the government revealed that the company will open access to some of its existing Supercharger network to other brands' EVs. The effort starts later this year with a pilot route between the capital city of Ottawa and Sudbury. There will be 750 opened stations by the end of 2025, and "at least" 350 of those will be speedy 250kW Superchargers. That performance is important given the focus on long-distance travel — the open charger route will include a very large Trans-Canada Highway stretch between Ottawa and Calgary.
The announcement comes alongside a plan to make EV chargers more accessible in the country. The government is teaming up with partners to help install nearly 3,000 EV chargers in multi-use residential buildings, offices, public places and fleets. Most of them (1,908) will be modest Level 2 chargers, but this will include 100 Level 3 chargers. Funding is going toward five ongoing projects installing as many as 1,328 EV chargers.
The Canadian news comes just as Tesla promised Ford EV drivers access to 12,000 North American Superchargers starting in spring 2024. Ford is also switching to Tesla's open-source charge port standard with 2025 model year cars. This is in addition to previous efforts to open Superchargers in the US and Europe. While this isn't ubiquitous coverage, it could be reassuring if you want a non-Tesla EV but are worried about inconsistent charger quality.
Canada isn't a major EV hub like the US or China, but it's taking steps to make itself an industry cornerstone. Volkswagen will build its first North American EV battery plant in southern Ontario. A deal for a Stellantis EV battery plant is on shaky ground, but could be influential if it goes through. Add the country's existing car manufacturing base and it may play an important role going forward. Not that the nation has much choice — if it's going to ban sales of combustion engine passenger cars by 2035, it needs to foster demand for EVs well in advance.