One of Canada’s Largest Home Service Companies, Best Known for Sales and Rentals of Water and Heating Equipment, Now Offers Level 2 Electric Vehicle Chargers in Select Urban B.C. Markets and Ontario.
Air conditioners, water heaters…and now, Tier 2 EV chargers.
Reliance Home Comfort, a water utility and heating and ventilation equipment company with nearly two million residential customers across Canada, has begun offering electric vehicle chargers alongside other home appliances from every day.
The Reliance program, launched in May, provides two charging stations — the FLO Home G5 and the FLO Home X5 — to select markets in Ontario and British Columbia.
The chargers are offered on a rental basis, a unique program of its kind in Canada, says Reliance. Rather than purchasing a charger up-front and spending the extra money on an in-home assessment and installation, customers sign a seven-year lease agreement with monthly payments and Reliance takes care of the facility.
Yuriy Bilynets, Chief Product Officer of Reliance, said in an interview with Electric Range Canada that the company had been researching electric vehicle chargers for some time and decided last month to capitalize on the growing market.
“We kept an eye on emerging trends, and one of them is obviously electric cars,” says Bilynets. “This is a high-value asset that requires professional installation, and leasing is a proposition that allows the customer to afford this affordably.”
Chargers are currently available in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Kingston and Vancouver. Bilynets says Reliance chose these four markets to start with because of the population density and the potential they saw in these cities to become familiar with electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
“We have a presence of electricians everywhere, but we wanted to launch with the people most familiar with a product who have experience installing EV chargers in the past,” says Bilynets.
About a month into the pilot program, with only minimal promotion and communication, Bilynets says it noticed customer interest.
“We probably have over 2,000 to 2,500 customers who say we’re interested in the product,” he says. “There is enough interest for us to say there is demand.”
Bilynets says Reliance, a company that offers electrical services such as power protection plans and home backup generators installed by master electricians, sees EV chargers as a natural extension of its electrical business portfolio.
He credits the company’s reputation and monthly payment option as key to initial customer demand.
“We wanted to be ready to help our customers with a very popular and affordable solution for our customers.”
Chargers as a device
With the federal government committed to achieving 100% new zero-emission vehicle sales in Canada by 2035, Bilynets says chargers will soon be a requirement to consider when buying a car. .
Consumers will want to charge their car at home, he adds, which means demand for Level 2 chargers (as opposed to using a Level 1 wall outlet) will only increase.
At this early stage in its program, Reliance is marketing EV chargers no differently than any other home appliance.
At present, he wants to provide as much information as possible to customers about the benefits of level 2 chargers.
“You don’t need to Google, you don’t need to find electricians, you don’t need to read their reviews,” says Bilynets. “Our business is to provide peace of mind to customers.”
Going forward, he says Reliance hopes to continue to evolve with the electric vehicle industry and be at the forefront of any new technology in the sector.
“We want to keep pace with our customers when they think about electric vehicles and be a solution for them,” says Bilynets. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”