Oshawa Power has partnered with Hypercharge to support the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles, becoming a leader in the region’s fight against climate change. Discover their Hypercharge success story in this Oshawa Power EV charging testimonial.
Oshawa Power is a regulated utility that provides safe, reliable and efficient electricity distribution services to over 60,000 customers in the city of Oshawa, Ontario.
Oshawa is one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. Located in the regional municipality of Durham in Southern Ontario, it’s also a community of commuters. Nearly 78% of Durham’s workforce commutes to work primarily by car. About 22% of its commuters are on the road for more than an hour each way.
With the transportation sector responsible for a quarter of the country’s climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Oshawa Power recognized the need to reduce the impacts of commuter traffic. “Oshawa Power has been involved in the adoption of electrical transportation for many years,” explains Jen McHugh, Communications Manager at Oshawa Power. “We’ve supported numerous events, and we promote education through our blog and social media the benefits of having electric vehicles.”
The next step was to level up from promoting electric vehicles to facilitating ownership. A community assessment for EV adoption revealed that the availability of public charging stations and range anxiety—the fear of depleting battery power before arriving at a destination—were among the top barriers to making the switch from gas-guzzling vehicles. To address these barriers, Oshawa Power entered into a collaborative partnership with the city and the region of Durham to install Hypercharge public charging stations in the city’s downtown core.
Not only would the new chargers address the needs of existing and potential EV owners, they’d provide an opportunity to demonstrate the value of investing in EV charging capabilities. “That’s really been a large motivating factor,” McHugh says.
Oshawa Power decided to launch its EV charging operation in the downtown core to support the overall modernization of a busy area that includes Ontario Tech University and Durham College. “Having more options down here was really the driver,” McHugh says. “It was almost a little pilot for the city to see, okay, this is really working well and now we need to move this into the other areas of Oshawa.”
A major advantage the utility company had going into the project was an in-depth understanding of the existing electrical capacity on every street. Potential site selections were narrowed to those that already had the necessary electrical infrastructure nearby, minimizing the work needed to connect the charging stations to their power source. This made for a swift installation process—about two weeks from start to finish. “Once the construction department had the instructions, it was pretty fast,” McHugh recalls.
I think one of the surprising lessons learned was that we built it and they came.We didn’t even have to market it!
Oshawa Power installed dual-port Hypercharge JuiceBar Gen 3 Level 2 charging stations, custom wrapped with the company’s logo, across four downtown Oshawa locations. Once the electrical work was completed, Hypercharge connected the chargers to the Hypercharge Cloud Platform, commissioned the software, and ensured the chargers were easily available through the Hypercharge app.
After a final series of tests confirmed the chargers were running smoothly, all eight ports went live. “We had our launch event May 19th, but we had quietly activated them on April 28th or 29th,” McHugh says. “In between our quiet launch and official launch, they were used as soon as they were spotted.”
All players were at the table to make sure that [the charging project is] moved forward and was well communicated. From an infrastructure and operations perspective, I think it went very well.
Hypercharge JuiceBar Gen 3 EV Charging Station for Oshawa Power
Working with Hypercharge.
After its successful application for project funding from Natural Resources Canada, Oshawa Power needed an experienced partner who could provide customized EV charging solutions, now and in the future. One advantage Hypercharge brought to the table was Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) compliant infrastructure, meaning the network is compatible with any OCPP-compliant hardware and software, preventing vendor lock-in—an important consideration for utilities and municipalities making long-term plans.
Additionally, the Hypercharge Cloud Platform provides comprehensive data about charger usage, such as how frequently they are in use and the duration of charging sessions. The data for the Oshawa Power chargers shows they are all very well utilized since their launch.
Perhaps most importantly, Hypercharge offered proactive communication and consistent support throughout every stage of the installation process and beyond. “To toot Hypercharge’s horn … everyone I’ve interfaced with has been exceptionally helpful and provided feedback and input, even if that wasn’t necessarily within their scope,” McHugh says. “They wanted to make sure the project was running well, and that made us feel confident in their role as a partner.”