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Petro Canada's electric vehicle charging station is shown on display at the Canadian International Auto Show, in Toronto on Feb. 14, 2019.Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press

An industry group representing some of Canada’s biggest automakers says public electric-vehicle charging capacity is nowhere near what’s needed to drive bigger sales of electric cars.

Brian Kingston, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association, says a national electric-charging network requires years of careful planning to ensure the charging stations are available when and where people need them.

He says Canada hasn’t done the planning and instead has a fractured response with very low ambitions compared with the rest of the world.

Europe is aiming for one public charger for every 10 electric vehicles, and California is targeting one for every seven, while Canada hopes for one charger for every 20 EVs by 2025.

The International Energy Agency says Canada currently has 0.06 chargers for every electric vehicle on the road.

Canada is in the early stages of mandating that all new vehicles be zero emissions by 2035, and Mr. Kingston says that will only happen if the price is right and the charging is easy and accessible.

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