My story today in the Toronto Star is about an ambitious electric-car project being spearheaded by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, which is an agency of the city that promotes and provides grants for projects that reduce air emissions and pollution. Called the EV300 Initiative, the aim is to create a buyer’s club of private- and public-sector fleet managers in the Greater Toronto Area. The goal is to get at least 300 EVs in the program, which would monitor the cars over a year or two and collect data on charging patterns, winter and summer time driving performance, as well as the impact of charging on the grid. Members of the group would be able to exchange information and experiences, while a working group would be set up to analyse the data and make recommendations for what the city can do to prepare for greater penetration of electric vehicles on Toronto streets.
The Toronto Atmospheric Fund has so far signed up several public-sector partners, including Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, Toronto Hydro, Hydro One and the Ontario Power Authority, and smaller electric utilities and municipalities that surrounding the city are also being invited to participate. Next month, efforts will begin to start attracting private companies that would like to purchase at least one electric vehicle for their fleet as part of the program. The hope is that the buyer’s club will be set up and committed to a bulk purchase by July 1, which is when provincial incentives (up to $10,000) for purchasing electric cars are supposed to kick in.
So, if you’re in a company with its own vehicle fleet, spread the word. The more who take part in this program the merrier.
BTW: Wonder what Better Place is up to? After a big splash last January in Ontario its interest in the market seems to have faded. Where’s the electric-vehicle demonstration and education centre it promised? Where’s the network rollout plan and the investment timeline it was going to put together for Ontario? At least it’s making progress in Denmark, Tokyo and other parts of Europe and Asia, having just raised another $350 million.