The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) gathered several fleet managers from Toronto and surrounding areas this morning to test drive GM’s Chevy Volt, which isn’t on sale yet in Canada but should be by the end of this year. Through its FleetWise program TAF has launched its EV300 Initiative, which has a goal of getting at least 300 plug-in vehicles on Greater Toronto Area roads by 2012 so they can be monitored and studied. The idea is that any learning can be shared to help plan for and improve supporting EV charging infrastructure in the area. It’s also an opportunity for fleet managers participating in the initiative to compare notes and basically get a feel for how the cars behave in the real world. The Chevy Volt is one of several plug-in vehicle models expected to be added to fleets. The Nissan Leaf and I suspect the Mitsubishi iMiev will also be put to the test.
There were three Volts on hand this morning at the grounds of Toronto’s Exhibition Place. I’ve been in many electric vehicles and I have to say that the Volt was quite comfortable and ranked up there for having the best mix of smoothness, speed, space and comfort. I thought the car I was in had some tacky interior detailing, but fortunately that is optional. Near the end of our test drives, Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda, coincidentally passed by en route to shooting one of his shows. The TAF folks convinced him to take a drive as well. (see pic top left… click on pics below for full view).