Toronto Wants To Be North American Leader In Electric Cars

Electric plug-in cars makes sense for North Americans. The vehicles are better for the environment than conventional cars. That’s one of the reasons that Toronto is hoping to be a leader in North America in the plug-in movement.
Toronto is racing to become one of the first cities in North America to be ready for wide-scale use of electric plug-in vehicles.

Teaming up with Colorado-based “Project Get Ready” Toronto is laying the ground work for the plug-in cars.

Part of that process is putting together an action plan, considering new pilot projects, and consulting with stakeholders to prepare the city for the coming years of the use of the cars.

CTV reports:

“The end goal is to be ready for more electric vehicles when they become available,” Ben Marins, the manager of special projects at the city-run Toronto Atmospheric Fund, tells

“When those three things come together, what they do is encourage vehicle manufacturers to sell here. You are not going to sell to a market that is not ready,” he explains.

“The plug-in market is growing. GM is coming out with the Volt in 2010 and other manufacturers are also coming out with plug-in hybrids … What we’re seeing now is the technology is coming forward,” he says.

Toronto can’t go electric over night. The infrastructure is not set up for several cars charging up on a block yet. Nor is the product ready to move out. In order to be ready Toronto has show the manufacturers that the citizens will buy the product or at least commit the city to a certain number of the plug-ins.

The car industry also isn’t going to be motivated to sell to Toronto if there isn’t a plan in action. Automobile manufactures have started to be committed to producing “plug-in” hybrids and all-electric vehicles by next year. There are already some electric cars out there in fact almost every auto manufacturer has a model either scheduled for production or in concept.

BMW has the Mini-E for instance.

Zenn sells their electric cars in Quebec. Not only do they sell an electric car but they have a Zenn conversion kit that can replace a combustion engine with a ZENN electric drivetrain properly married to an EEStor storage unit.

Ben Marins told CTV that the plug-in cars will help Canada with environmental goals in the future as long as the city is prepared in time.

“Transportation accounts for 25 per cent of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions and that’s significant. If we are going to hit our reduction goals the reality is you’re going to have to take cars off the road. Is that going to happen? Probably not on large scale,” he says.

“What we’re doing is presenting vehicle electrification as one solution to tackle this and meet those reduction goals.”


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