Steele Auto Group Buys Halifax-Based Electric Vehicle Dealer

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HALIFAX — Steele Auto Group has acquired a Halifax-based electric vehicle dealership.

The company announced on July 26 it had bought All EV Canada, a dealership run by former Ambassatours CEO Jeff Farwell that sells and repairs used electric vehicles (EVs).

Since Farwell and his partners started All EV Canada around the beginning of 2020, the company has become known for its expertise in the EV field and its efforts to promote EV adoption in Atlantic Canada.

Farwell tells Huddle he sees Steele as a “strategic partner” that will help further All EV’s growth and educational efforts in the region.

“The processes, the expertise, the customer loyalty and experience that they have in place will just help us grow so much more substantially. It’s excellent,” he says.

Steele Auto Group is based in Dartmouth and runs more than 50 dealerships, in addition to several equipment stores and collision centres.

In a news release, Steele president Kim Day said the company hopes to further drive EV adoption in Atlantic Canada.

“We really like the expertise and passion that the All EV team has built and we see this coming together as an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of EVs in our markets,” Day said.

Not long ago, All EV was itself buying up smaller companies: in October 2020 the company acquired Charlottetown’s Pure EV.

Farwell says that purchase made sense at the time but that partnering with Steele will be a better way to grow and encourage electric vehicle adoption across Atlantic Canada.

“We could have continued along that route and slowly continue to add more locations. But in order for us to really accelerate growth, I think this was the strategic move,” he said.

“It’s not just about money, it’s not just about somebody that has capital — you can find that anywhere — it’s about the right partner, the right fit.

“It made perfect sense for us to look at the Steele group as an option because they’re very like-minded, they wanted to be in the space, they’re committed to growing the EV sector,” he says.

Farwell says the new partnership means Steele now owns All EV, but that the electric car dealer will continue to operate as an independent brand.

All EV will continue to run out of its current locations in Burnside and Stratford, PEI. Farwell says he is staying on to run the operation and his founding partners David Giles and Jérémie Bernardin, as well as Michael Kenney, will all assume leadership roles within the organization.

“Nothing is changed substantially in what we do day-to-day, to be honest,” Farwell says, adding that increasing EV adoption across the region remains a core part of the business.

Moving forward, Farwell says All EV aims to make itself “more pronounced within Atlantic Canada” by continuing or even expanding its education courses.

While Farwell had previously hinted to Huddle he was looking to expand beyond the region, for now, the focus appears to have shifted to serving the Atlantic Canadian market.

“We’re constantly looking at all of Atlantic Canada. And when we’re ready to announce anything, we certainly will,” he says.