Hydro-Québec and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. have signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the launch of Canada’s largest all-electric vehicle pilot project this fall.
In collaboration with the City of Boucherville, Hydro-Québec will test the performance of up to 50 all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEVs on the road under a variety of circumstances, notably winter conditions. The project, which is evaluated at $4.5 million, is the first of its kind to include the participation of a car manufacturer, a public utility, a municipality and local businesses that will integrate the vehicles into their existing fleets. The trial is designed to study the vehicles’ charging behavior, the driving experience and overall driver satisfaction.
“This new pilot project is part of our action plan for the electrification of vehicles,” noted Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec’s president and CEO. “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.”
The City of Boucherville was selected as the project’s host municipality given its proximity to Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ), the diversity of its local businesses and its role in Hydro-Québec’s upcoming interactive smart zone trial. The availability of a local Mitsubishi dealership to oversee the i-MiEVs’ maintenance was also part of the selection criteria.
“This is a truly exciting project for the City of Boucherville. We hope it will have a positive impact on our industrial sector and we look forward to working with our local businesses to help Hydro-Québec and Mitsubishi gather meaningful data,” said Jean Martel, mayor of Boucherville.
i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle, is an all-electric, highway-capable, charge-at-home commuter car. Because the battery, the motor and other items are mounted out of the way beneath the floor, the i-MiEV seats four adults and offers substantial interior room and cargo space.
At the recent Tokyo International Motor Show (2009), the i-MiEV won the Japanese Car of the Year award for “Most Advanced Technology.”