With the anticipation of strong demand for its products and the marketing of two new models, the Quebec manufacturer and operator of electric vehicle charging station networks Flo has completed its largest round of financing by raising $136 million – notably from federal agencies and Quebec.

“It took us about three years to go from 50,000 terminals to more than 100,000,” said the company’s president and CEO, Louis Tremblay, in an interview with La Presse. We are already building several tens of thousands of terminals, but it will be hundreds of thousands if we look at the next three years. »

These are existing partners of Flo who are handing over money as part of the financing announced this Tuesday. These are Export Development Canada, which is leading the round, the Quebec government, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Montreal firm MacKinnon, Bennett 

The goal: to accelerate the deployment of the company’s North American charging network and the introduction of two new products, the FLO Ultra station – which can charge most new electric vehicles to 80% in 15 minutes – and the FLO Home model, in the residential niche.

“It takes a lot of capital,” says Tremblay. “Everything around sales, making sure the product is well known, making sure [to increase production of the product] and making sure you deliver, that’s really why. Three-quarters of the R

There is therefore no question, at least in the short term, of adding a production plant. Flo terminals are assembled in Shawinigan and Auburn Hills, in the American state of Michigan.

The deployment of charging infrastructure must move up a gear as there are expected to be as many electric and plug-in hybrid cars as gasoline-powered vehicles in the world in 2035, according to the most recent forecasts from the International Agency Energy (IEA).

According to its report released last April, the supply of public charging stations must be multiplied by six in the next decade. Enough to fuel demand among manufacturers.

In addition to manufacturing terminals, the company specializes in intelligent charging solutions for electric vehicles. It operates its own network. Last week, it formed a partnership with the Metro supermarket chain to offer some 500 fast charging ports in more than 130 stores of its various brands in Quebec and Ontario.

“These are terminals that we own and operate. We don’t sell them like 99% of the terminals we have produced so far. There will be other announcements like this. »

Flo currently generates between 20 and 25% of its annual revenue in the United States. Given the size of the American market, it should soon be as important as Canada for the terminal manufacturer.

“Within three years, I expect equality with Canada,” says the leader of Flo. After that, the United States is going to be more important. Clearly, growth is coming through the American market. »

South of the border, Washington wants to lay the foundations for a network of 500,000 public locations where you can recharge your electric vehicle by the end of the decade, says the IEA. Initiatives from other levels of government risk resulting in the addition of several hundred thousand other terminals, according to the international agency.

The news has been less encouraging for Flo’s Quebec employees in recent weeks. The company laid off approximately 10% of its workforce as part of cuts made in Montreal (15 people), Quebec (15 employees) and Shawinigan (21 employees). The company’s American employees were spared.

Asked to comment on this decision, Mr. Tremblay explained that it was part of the decisions taken to deliver “profitable growth.”

“It may happen that there are readjustments, restructurings, but this is part of the things that must be done to continue to deliver value and invest in the right places as the company grows and the market evolves,” says the big boss of Flo.

Increasingly, the company is able to “do better with less,” believes Mr. Tremblay.