Quebec is an obvious place to introduce electric cars on a large scale. Its power mostly comes from hydroelectric facilities and, culturally, it’s more European than North American in many ways. It’s little surprise then that Mitsubishi has chosen to team up with Hydro-Quebec on a large electric-vehicle trial that will see 50 of its i-MiEVs tested in a variety of conditions, particularly cold and snowy winter conditions. The estimated cost of the project is $4.5 million, and the vehicles will be integrated into existing commercial fleets operating in the City of Boucherville. The project, to launch this fall, is “the first of its kind to include the participation of a car manufacturer, a public utility, a municipality and local businesses that will integrate the vehicles into their existing fleets,” Hydro-Quebec said in a statement, adding that the trial will help the utility plan for the charging infrastructure required in homes, offices and public spaces.
Would love to see a trial of this size announced in Ontario, though I’m guessing something is in the works. BTW: Just to get it on the record, Tesla Motors said today it has built its 1,000th vehicle, an impressive milestone. The company, meanwhile, has its new Model S on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Tesla will start producing the lower cost Model S (roughly $50,000 after government rebates) in 2012.