Attention Toronto fleet managers: the city needs your EV

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.

2 thoughts on “Attention Toronto fleet managers: the city needs your EV”

  1. It will be interesting to see how electric vehicles impact the grid. If Ontario continues to burn coal to generate power these electric vehicles may only be semi-clean. Nonetheless it is good to see electric vehicles on the road.

  2. On the long run the EV will have a dramatic impact on our city and our lives. Just think of the annual savings on health costs for a small reduction in skin cancers, lung cancers and other endless respiratory problems we face today as urban dwellers. These are hidden costs of the gasoline powered society we live in and we’ve accepted them in exchange for convenience and economic growth. The change will come slowly though. Technically, we are not yet prepared for a sudden shift in transportation technology. The battle will be to keep the grid in balance once the new power generation technologies steams ahead and get on-line. An absolutely critical aspect of the new green technology is the power quality produced. We don’t have specific standards for that yet. We have a long way ahead.

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