Fast charging support

How to use BC Hydro's EV fast charging network

EV fast charging rate interim approval

The BC Utilities Commission has provided interim approval of charging rates for EV drivers using our fast charging stations.

Starting May 1, 2021, the following interim rates will apply:

  • $0.12 per minute for 25kW DC fast chargers (currently in Hope, Squamish and Horseshoe Bay)
  • $0.21 per minute for 50kW DC fast chargers (all remaining locations)
BC Hydro EV Logo

Whether you're a new EV owner or a seasoned pro, we have helpful info below about our fast charger network. Use this info when you're at one of our charging stations or before you hit the road.

If you are having troubles with your fast charge and need customer support, please call BC Hydro at 1 866 338 3369.

BC Hydro's fast charging app and RFID card

BC Hydro provides two options for charging at BC Hydro fast charging stations: a mobile app, and a RFID card, which can be used to start charging without mobile access. You can order the RFID card via the mobile app or online.

Basic information for new electric vehicle (EV users)

Find out whether your EV will be compatible, how much charging costs, and what can affect your EV range.

Before you go to the fast charging station

Where to find stations, updates on station availability and important info on connector types.

At the fast charging station  

How to position and prepare your vehicle, what to do if there's a problem with station equipment.

Basic information for new electric vehicle (EV) users

Fast charging stations support the two global standard fast charge connectors; the Combo (CCS) and CHAdeMO. You can charge your EV at a fast charging station if either of these connectors can plug into your car.

Some vehicles, such as select Tesla models, require an adaptor to plug into fast charging stations.

Can my EV use the fast charge stations?
Charging level

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3 (fast charge)

Power

120V wall outlet, 1 kW

240V stove outlet, 3 – 6 kW

480+V, 25 kW, 50+ kW
Suitable for
  • Home, work, public station

  • Overnight or long-term parking

  • Top-ups

  • Home, work, public station

  • Overnight or long-term parking

  • Installation at home

  • Work, public station

  • Short-term parking

  • On the road

Vehicle type All EVs All EVs Battery electric vehicles with fast charging feature (check with manufacturer for details)
* Actual charging times will vary depending on battery size and health.


On average, it will take about an hour to fully charge your car. This can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of your car battery and the capabilities of your car. Every make and model is different, and you’ll get to know your car after you’ve used a fast charging station a few times.

At public fast charging stations, we recommend you limit your charging time to 30 to 40 minutes to minimize the waiting time for others who need to charge.

Yes, fast charging stations are safe to use in the rain and snow.

There are many factors that influence the range (or distance) you can get on a full charge. You may experience shorter ranges due to:

  • Elevation gains
  • Cold temperatures
  • Auxiliary systems like air conditioning or heating
  • Increased weight in the car

The more work your car needs to do, the more quickly it uses energy. This means a shorter distance that can be travelled on a full charge.

Fast charging stations have two plugs—the CCS and CHAdeMO—but only one car can be charged at a time.

If the fast charging station is being used by another driver who is already plugged in, don't attempt to initiate a charge session with the other plug. You'll end the other driver's charge.

There's currently a range of prices at B.C. charging stations, typically around 20 cents per minute to 30 cents per minute for 50-kilowatt charging.

It’s currently free to charge at a BC Hydro EV station, but we plan to file a rate application with the B.C. Utilities Commission in early 2021 for a fast charging rate.

Check station signage for the current fees, or use PlugShare to find out before you go.

Note that rates at fast charging stations don’t include parking fees. Be sure to check signage or PlugShare to see if a specific station requires payment for parking:

Image of a man wearing an Oculus Rift headset

Please see the signage at the station for parking etiquette.

In general, we recommend the below time limits based on charger power level, particularly when another vehicle is waiting:

  • 25kW: one hour
  • 50kW: 40 minutes
  • 100kW: 30 minutes
  • Higher power levels: less than 30 minutes

Here are some general etiquette guidelines you can follow to help create a positive experience for all members of the EV community:

  • Take only what you need and limit your charge to 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Stay close by in case so you can move your car once you are done charging.
  • Only park in an EV-designated charging stall if you’re charging or waiting to charge.
  • Don’t unplug another vehicle
  • When you’re done, neatly put the charging cord away so that people don’t trip or drive over it.
  • Keep the station tidy.
  • Be respectful and help your fellow drivers out. If you see a neighbouring EV with its charge port open, plug it in once your charge is complete. Note that this only applies in situations where charging is free.

Before you go to the fast charging station

You can find all BC Hydro EV stations by using the BC Hydro EV app. You can also see FLO and ChargePoint stations in the BC Hydro EV app.

The PlugShare map and mobile app can be used to find a charging station across all EV networks.

This is an international crowd-sourced tool that shows the locations of EV chargers that can be filtered by region, plug type, and network. You don’t need to register to use PlugShare unless you’d like to check in at a charging station location and leave notes for others.

The BC Hydro EV app indicates when BC Hydro stations are in use or available.

The PlugShare map and mobile app can be used to find information about the availability of all other charging stations.

This is an international crowd-sourced tool that is updated by EV users who voluntarily contribute. Like any crowd-sourced tool, the information may sometimes be out-of-date, but users often indicate when a station is unavailable.

You don’t need to register to use PlugShare unless you’d like to check in at a charging station location and leave notes for others.

Yes, fast charging stations are safe to use in the rain and snow.

Register for a BC Hydro EV account before you head out to save time. You can do this from the BC Hydro EV website or the BC Hydro EV app. You can also order a BC Hydro EV RFID card if you’d like to start a charge with a card instead of the mobile app.

Pre-Loaded Account Balance

The BC Hydro EV network uses a pre-loaded account balance approach. This is similar to many other EV networks. If you plan to use a station that has a fee, we recommend registering your credit card and pre-loading your account balance ahead of time.

It’s currently free to charge at a BC Hydro EV station, but we plan to file a rate application with the B.C. Utilities Commission in early 2021.

You can confirm the network of a specific charging station or area using the PlugShare website or mobile app.

You’ll find two different connector types at fast charging stations in B.C. These are the Combo (CCS) and CHAdeMO connectors:

What are the different plug/connector types at fast charge stations?

In order to use a fast charging station, your vehicle needs to have either a Combo (CCS) or CHAdeMO plug. Check your port to see if it can connect to either of the two plugs pictured below.

Which connector type does my EV use?

At the fast charging station

  1. Park your vehicle and turn it off. Open the port of your vehicle.
  2. Remove the appropriate connector from the station (CCS or CHAdeMO, depending on your car) and plug it into your vehicle.
  3. Start the charge by using one of these three methods and following on-screen prompts:
    • Use the appropriate mobile application for the specific fast charging station. 
      • Get the BC Hydro EV app for BC Hydro stations (also supports FLO and ChargePoint stations)
      • Get a network-specific app (FLO or ChargePoint)
    • Use a network-specific RFID card to activate the charging process. If charging doesn’t start automatically, follow the prompts on the screen to begin charging.
    • Use the start button on the station or touchscreen. If charging doesn’t start automatically, follow the prompts on the screen to begin charging.
  4. Wait for your vehicle to reach the minimum charge that you need to get to your next destination. The connector will be locked until you end the charge.
  5. There are two methods you can use to end the charging session if it doesn’t end automatically:
    • Use the appropriate mobile application for the specific fast charging station.
    • Use the stop button on the station or touchscreen.
  6. Once you have ended the charge, the plug will unlock. Remove the plug from your car and replace it on the charge station.
  7. Do a quick check to make sure that the cord and plugs are neatly put away to avoid tripping hazards and damaged equipment.

Prepare your vehicle for charging

To prepare your vehicle for charging:

  1. Turn off your EV
  2. Open the plug port and make sure it’s close enough to the machine for the cord to reach

You are now ready to charge your EV.

Fast charging stations have two plugs—the CCS and CHAdeMO—but only one car can be charged at a time.

If the fast charging station is being used by another driver who is already plugged in, don't attempt to initiate a charge session with the other plug. You'll end the other driver's charge.

Starting the charge

Unless the connector is locked to the station, begin by removing the connector from the station and plugging it into your car. If the connector is locked, you’ll need to initiate the charge first, and then plug the connector into your car once it’s released.

There are three methods you can use to start a charge.

  1. Use the appropriate mobile application for the specific fast charging station.
    • Get the BC Hydro EV app for BC Hydro stations (also supports FLO and ChargePoint stations)
    • Get a network-specific app (FLO or ChargePoint)
  2. Use a network-specific RFID card to activate the charging process. If charging doesn’t start automatically, follow the prompts on the screen to begin charging.
  3. Use the start button on the station or touchscreen. If charging doesn’t start automatically, follow the prompts on the screen to begin charging.

The BC Hydro EV app will indicate the price to charge at our stations, as well as chargers within the FLO and ChargePoint networks.

It’s currently free to charge at a BC Hydro EV station, but we plan to file a rate application with the B.C. Utilities Commission in early 2021.

Typically, a minimum account balance of $10 is required to charge at a fast charging stations that have a fee.

The PlugShare map and mobile app can be used to check whether a specific station charges a fee (see image below).

You’ll also be prompted when you try to start a charge if payment is needed.

Image of a man wearing an Oculus Rift headset

If a fast charging station requires payment, there are two ways in which you can pay for the charge:

  1. Use the network-specific mobile app to set up a payment method within the app (see app for payment options).
    • Get the BC Hydro EV app for BC Hydro stations (also supports FLO and ChargePoint)
    • Get the network-specific app (FLO or ChargePoint
  2. Order a network-specific RFID card and load funds onto it. This card can then be swiped at a fast charging station for payment.
  3. Scan the QR code on the charging station sticker
    • BC Hydro EV charging stations allow you to activate a charging session without a membership or RFID card.
    • Scan QR code with your mobile phone camera and follow the prompts to activate without a membership.

In many cases, the network-specific mobile application can be used at a fast charging station instead of an RFID card.

However; we recommend also having a network-specific RFID card for cases in which you’re unable to access the mobile app (e.g. your phone battery dies, or you’re in an area where you don’t have mobile/internet connectivity).

Most charging stations can be activated with a mobile app, or by scanning the QR code with your phone’s camera.

The BC Hydro EV app will activate our EV stations, as well as FLO and ChargePoint stations. If the station has a fee, ensure you have enough balance in your account.

Check PlugShare ahead of time to see what network the charging station is on. If the charging station is not on the BC Hydro EV, FLO or ChargePoint network, you may have to download a network-specific app to activate it.

  1. Start by removing either the Combo (CCS) or CHAdeMO connector from the charging station (check your car to see which one it uses).
    • You may need to press down on a button on the handle to release the connector from the station.
  2. Align the connector with your car’s plug, and push firmly until it is fully inserted. This may require a bit of force, but be gentle so as not to damage the equipment or your vehicle’s port.

If the fast charge station is out of service, please call BC Hydro to report the problem at 1 866 338 3369.

If the equipment is damaged, please call BC Hydro to report the problem at 1 866 338 3369.

Try maneuvering your car so that your charging port is as close to the station as possible. If it still doesn’t reach your port, please call BC Hydro to report the problem at 1 866 338 3369.

There are 3 methods you can use to start a charge:

  1. Use the appropriate mobile application for the specific fast charging station.
  2. Use an RFID card to activate the charging process.
  3. Use the start button on the station or touchscreen.

If an error message appeared when you tried using one method to start the charge, we recommend unplugging your vehicle, plugging it back in, and trying to start a charge using a different method.

If this does not resolve the issue, please call BC Hydro to report the problem at 1 866 338 3369.

During the charge

Each location is different, and there may be restaurants, parks, and other fun or productive things to do in the area while you wait.

Check the PlugShare mobile app or website to see what amenities are in the area, but be sure to move your vehicle once charged to make the station available to others.

On average, it will take about an hour to fully charge your car. This can vary depending on other factors, such as the size of your car battery and the capabilities of your car.

At public fast charging stations, we recommend you limit your charging time to 30 to 40 minutes to minimize the waiting time for others who need to charge.

Please see the signage at the station for parking etiquette.

In general, we recommend the below time limits based on charger power level, particularly when another vehicle is waiting:

  • 25kW: one hour
  • 50kW: 40 minutes
  • 100kW: 30 minutes
  • Higher power levels: less than 30 minutes

Here are some general etiquette guidelines you can follow to help create a positive experience for all members of the EV community:

  • Take only what you need and limit your charge to 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Stay close by in case you need to move your vehicle to let someone else charge.
  • Only park in an EV-designated charging stall if you’re charging or waiting to charge.
  • Don’t unplug another vehicle
  • If their vehicle is fully charged, carefully remove the plug from it and use it to charge your own, or hang it up and put it away if using the other connector.
  • When you’re done, neatly put the charging cord away so that people don’t trip or drive over it.
  • Keep the station tidy.
  • Be respectful and help your fellow drivers out. If you see a neighbouring EV with its charge port open, plug it in once your charge is complete. Note that this only applies in situations where charging is free.

Ending the charge

There are two methods you can use to end the charging session if it doesn’t end automatically.

  1. Use the appropriate mobile application for the specific fast charging station.
  2. Use the stop button on the station or touchscreen.

To remove the connector once your charge is done, pull the connector out of the vehicle. Depending on the plug type, you may need to push a button in order to release the connector before pulling it out.

Please call BC Hydro to report the problem at 1 866 338 3369.