Currently, five i-MiEVs are being tested by employees from the City of Boucherville, the Centre de santé et de services sociaux Pierre-Boucher and Hydro-Québec. It is expected that by mid-2011 about fifteen i-MiEVs will be made available to local businesses for integration into their fleets and testing of the vehicle's innovative technology.
"In addition to helping reduce green house gas emissions, participating businesses will help Hydro-Québec gather valuable data that will serve to plan charging infrastructure and assess customers' needs with greater precision" noted Pierre-Luc Desgagné, Senior Director, Strategic Planning and Government affairs at Hydro-Quebec. "The diverse range of users and needs targeted by this trial are instrumental to its success."
Businesses interested in participating in the program can do so by completing the form on the City of Boucherville's web site, www.
boucherville.ca, by February 11, 2011. Companies who meet the program criteria will receive notification of their selection in upcoming weeks.
"A number of Boucherville companies have already asked to participate in this electric vehicle trial. We hope that many other companies in Boucherville will follow suit and experience driving with electric-vehicles firsthand," said Jean Martel, mayor of Boucherville and spokesperson for the project's initial phase. "I can assure anyone in doubt that electric vehicles deliver a pleasant driving experience. In addition to helping reduce C02 emissions and benefiting from less noise and motor vibration, participants can also take pride in the fact that they are part of a historic project taking place right here, in Boucherville!"
Participants must drive an average of 50 km per day using both highways and local streets during their routes. They must also have access to a dedicated parking spot at work and a garage at home where charging stations can be installed, and be able to incorporate charging time into their daily routine.
Nathalie Chauvin, Technical services Director at the Centre de santé et de services sociaux Pierre-Boucher, stated: "I am very pleased that two of our staff members are taking part in this innovative project. Our establishment hopes to pursue this experience in the future."
i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle, is based on the Japanese i-Car platform. It is an all-electric, highway-capable, charge-at-home commuter car with zero tailpipe emissions. Capable of traveling 120 km on a single charge, Mitsubishi's i-MiEV can be recharged in 6 hours using 240 volt outlets, 13 hours using 120 volt outlets or 30 minutes to replenish 80 of the battery using a quick charge station.
Mr. Koji Soga, President and CEO of MMSCAN, stated: "Mitsubishi is very proud of its strong partnerships with Hydro-Québec and the City of Boucherville. As electric vehicles launch on the market, we wish to point out that the City of Boucherville is at the heart of electric vehicle initiatives, much like San Francisco in the USA. This i-MiEV trial is very important for MMSCAN because it is our first massive deployment of all-electric vehicles under "real life" driving conditions, in a region featuring one of Canada's most diverse climates."
Over the next three years, Hydro-Québec will be leading road tests to evaluate the performance of up to 50 all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, enabling it to test the performance of electric vehicles under a variety of circumstances. The first of its kind in Canada, the project has been designed to study user charging habits, driving experience and overall satisfaction as well as vehicle behaviour when interfaced with the electric grid. Data collected during the tests will also contribute to Hydro-Québec's planning of the future electric vehicle-charging infrastructure.
Already available in Japan, the i-MiEV will be introduced on the Québec and Canadian markets at the end of 2011.