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AddÉnergie raised $53-million in equity and debt to fund its expansion into the United States.Handout

Canada’s largest maker and operator of electric-vehicle-charging stations, Quebec City-based AddÉnergie Technologies Inc., has raised $53-million in equity and debt to fund its expansion into the U.S.

The company, which entered the U.S. market in 2018, installed 180 public charging stations in Los Angeles in the past year and recently signed a deal to supply equipment to Cincinnati-based Electrada to build charging infrastructure in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. It is also set to install its first, 120-station order for Con Edison in New York City in 2021.

CEO Louis Tremblay said the company plans to focus its U.S. expansion on East and West Coast markets “where electric vehicle adoption tends to be more prevalent.” He added that it hopes to also win business selling chargers for commercial vehicle fleets, workplace stations and commercial charging operations. AddÉnergie expects the U.S. to account for 20 per cent of its revenues next year.

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AddÉnergie CEO Louis Tremblay. Tremblay said the company plans to focus its U.S. expansion on East and West Coast markets 'where electric vehicle adoption tends to be more prevalent.'Handout

The 180-person company is a fully integrated player that has developed its own software and assembles its charging machines at a plant in Shawinigan, Que. It operates its own 3,000-station FLO-branded charging network across Canada, runs or supplies charging-station operations for electric utilities in Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick, and sells home charging units to owners of electric vehicles. It also has 92,000 members who can access FLO stations through an app and an RFID-chip card.

Founded by Mr. Tremblay in 2009 when electric cars were scarce and he was in his mid-20s, AddÉnergie, has seen business pick up markedly in recent years as electric and plug-in hybrid cars have grown in popularity, partly because the federal, Quebec and B.C. governments began offering subsidies for such vehicles. The company has sold 30,000 charging stations to date – more than a third of those in the past 12 months – and has generated more than $25-million in revenue in the past year.

“It started really slowly, but a decade later it’s really starting to snowball right now,” said Mr. Tremblay, an electrical engineer by training. He said his goal was to sell another 70,000 stations in the next three years.

The company has raised $83-million to date and has also received support in the past four years from some of the most powerful financiers in Quebec, including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the province’s Investissement Québec investing arm, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the Business Development Bank of Canada. The Caisse alone has already invested a total of $25-million in the company.

The latest funding was led by Montreal clean technology-focused growth equity firm MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. (MKB) and included debt financing from National Bank of Canada’s technology and innovation banking division.

“AddÉnergie’s mission and strategy is at the nexus of the decarbonization, electrification and digitization of transportation,” said Antonio Occhionero, a partner with MKB. “The company has a proven track record in key markets, a competitive value proposition and is well positioned for the next phase of its expansion.”

“We are proud to reaffirm our commitment to AddÉnergie as it pursues its expansion plan,” said Kim Thomassin, the Caisse’s executive vice-president and head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing in a news release. “This investment aligns with our strategic priorities – not only does it support a Quebec company’s international expansion, it allows us to increase our holdings in low-carbon assets, which is a benefit to everyone.”

To date, Caisse has invested a total of $25-million in the company.

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