Electric car road test planned for Quebec

Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:18am EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Quebec's power utility is teaming up with Mitsubishi Motors to road test the performance of up to 50 all-electric vehicles against the rigors of the Canadian climate and measure their infrastructure needs.

The C$4.5 million ($4.4 million) project, which organizers say will be Canada's biggest trial yet of all-electric vehicles, is planned for this autumn near the Boucherville research facility of Hydro-Quebec, the provincial government-owned electricity utility.

"It will allow us to advance our knowledge of the technology and its integration into our grid, which in turn, will help us plan the necessary charging infrastructure for homes, offices and public places," said Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Quebec's chief executive.

Organizers said the road test is the first to include a car manufacturer, public utility, municipality and local businesses, which will integrate Mitsubishi i-MiEVs into existing fleets.

Mitsubishi says its Innovative Electric Vehicle, or i-MiEV, is an all-electric, highway-capable, charge-at-home commuter car.

Quebec was Canada's first province to adopt California's strict auto emission standards. The new rules came into effect January 14 and impose increasingly stringent limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks.

(Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>The Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid car is attached to an electric outlet at the 2010 North American International Auto Show during press days in Detroit, Michigan January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>