Quebec approves low-speed electric cars

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - The Quebec government has authorized a three-year pilot project allowing low-speed electric cars on city roads - if you can actually get one.

Officials with the Canadian-owned Zenn Motor Company say even if it will be allowed on some Quebec roads as of July 17, the car is not currently available for sale on the Canadian market.

Zenn has produced 350 vehicles - touted as "zero-emission, no-noise" - since 2007 in its St. Jerome plant, north of Montreal, but every one of them has been shipped to the 44 states south of the border where they are authorized. The car retails for about $16,000 US.

Ian Clifford, CEO of Zenn, says the company is now evaluating the potential sale of vehicles in Canada in light of the Quebec announcement.

"Expansion into the Quebec market will require the establishment of proper sales and service channels and we are actively assessing this to try and bring the Zenn to Quebec as soon as possible," Clifford said.

The announcement is the first instance in Canada in which the vehicle will be allowed on Canadian roads.

The Quebec government has authorized the vehicles, which have a top speed of 40 km/h, on neighbourhood roads with a 50 km/h speed limit. They will be allowed to use the right-hand lane (except to pass) and have to be equipped with an orange triangle and keep their lights on.


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