"Right now in our demonstration project we have installed eight charge spots," said Martin Rovers, director of Better Place Canada, a privately held, California-based company that provides electric vehicle services worldwide. "PowerStream is one of the companies that stepped forward and said: 'We want to be part of this.'"
The company has partnered with the city's electricity provider, PowerStream, to install a charge station at its Patterson Road office as well as at its Vaughan and Markham locations. Other charge stations are in Toronto, Bowmanville and Ajax through a partnership with Veridian Connections Inc.
The project also includes a demonstration centre at the non-profit's Evergreen Brick Works site in Toronto featuring interactive displays.
The $1 million prrovincial government initiative is geared to promote the use of electric cars.
The goal is to have one electrically powered vehicle out of 20 on the road by 2020. There are rebates available from $5,000 to $8,500 for those purchasing plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
The incentives are based on the premise that for every 10,000 electric cars, there will be 40,000 tonnes less of CO2 polluting the air.
PowerStream expects to have two Nissan Leafs 100 electric vehicles operating within the next couple of months.
The point of the station, said Eric Fagen, director of corporate communications, is to test the service, which relies upon electricity and could, ultimately impact hydro demands.
"Our distributions system is going to be impacted one way or another when the electric vehicle starts to roll out across Ontario," he said. "We want to study the impact of electric vehicles charging" on the electricity distribution system.
PowerStream employees will use the new electric cars this spring for car pooling, recharging the cars' batteries at one of the three charge stations.
The charge stations are the beginnings of an infrastructure that will dot the landscape to support electric vehicles, similar to gas stations.
Better Place is already rolling out nationwide services for electric cars in Israel at the end of the year, Denmark at the beginning of next and Australia during the second quarter in 2012.
The full-scale deployment of services will complement the main location where people will tend to re-fuel their electric cars at home.
Electric cars are still in their infancy. They began with the installation of fixed batteries, but there is a move to equip electric cars with batteries that can be replaced.