Toronto plug-in hybrid project launched

My story in today’s Toronto Star is about the launch of a 10-car pilot project in the city that will see hybrid cars — eight Priuses, one Escape and one Civic — retrofitted into plug-in hybrids during the first year, and next year up to 200 hybrids converted the same way. While not new in the United States, where a number of cities have launched retrofit programs, this is a first in Canada. A number of organizations are participating in the program, including green-energy retailer Bullfrog Power, car-sharing company AutoShare, local utility Toronto Hydro and both provincial and municipal departments. The idea is to expose the cars to a variety of driving conditions in an urban setting and, perhaps most important, test their performance during a Toronto winter.

Not surprising, local-area company Hymotion, now owned by Massachussetts-based A123 Systems, will be doing the retrofits. The University of Toronto, also participating in the project with their own hybrid, will be collecting emission and mileage data from all cars and analysing the results.

It’s good to finally see some concrete action from this city, though to be fair this project has been several months in the planning. I should point out that utility Veridian was the first organization in the area to do a plug-in retrofit of a hybrid (not only that, it put a solar panel on the roof of the car to charge the battery). So kudos to Veridian and its CEO Michael Angemeer for getting the ball rolling, and thanks to those U.S. organizations that inspired action in Toronto.

4 thoughts on “Toronto plug-in hybrid project launched”

  1. Good Day. In California, a zero-emission vehicle, the EV-1, once roamed its roads and freeways running exclusively on overnight plug-in powered batteries. These cars were capable of 150 miles commuting on one charge (only half of the 300-mile maximum capability of existing battery technology). Unfortunately, these cars were literally pulled off the road and repossessed by its manufacturer, General Motors, because of the potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue that the car industry generates from parts and oil contracts. For more info, see, or rent “Who Killed the Electric Car?”.

  2. I wanted to alert you to this video on Energy Policy TV featuring Sen. Orrin Hatch discussing his Freedom Act bill, which would bolster U.S. development of plug in vehicle technology:

    Click on “Sen. Orrin Hatch Briefing on Electric and Hybrid Cars” to view the video.

    EPTV gives you permission to link to this video on your website and/or distribute this link to your colleagues.

  3. Regarding the hybrid project. I feel strongly that it is a forth coming today into tomorrow. That is I mean that without a temperate model to follow tomorrow will surley smell like my cat. My cat smells like cat food. There are too many stars that cluster on this issue and it makes my cat angry. Please give generously to the cause some cats can behave and wilderness action takes place so that I can do something about my own breath.

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