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July 10, 2017

(Photo credit: AJAC)
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) held its sixth annual EcoRun across two provinces this year.

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July 10, 2017
Volvo Cars will offer an electric motor on all vehicles from 2019 on.

“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Volvo's electrified strategy includes fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Between 2019 and 2021, it plans to launch five full EV models (three Volvo models and two high performance Polestar models).

Volvo plans to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025, as part of its carbon emissions reduction plan for products and operations.

July 4, 2017
Subsidizing electric vehicle purchases is the most expensive and least efficient way to reduce GHG emissions according to an Economic Note from the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

“It’s just a waste,” said Germain Belzile, Senior Associate Researcher at the MEI and Co-Author of the publication. “Not only do these programs cost taxpayers a fortune, but they also have little effect on GHG emissions.”

Currently Ontario provides a subsidy of up to $14,000 towards the purchase of an EV or PHEV vehicle, while Quebec is $8,000. This works out to $523 per tonne of GHG not emitted in Ontario, and $288 in Quebec.

“Between the different incentive measures that produce the same results, the most expensive option should never be favoured,” said Belzile. “Subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles represents without a doubt the worst option among current solutions.”

MEI finds that the same amount of reduction costs $18 per tonne through the existing carbon market, and $10 to $50 per tonne through the upcoming federal carbon tax.

“The real costs are probably even higher, since half of buyers of electric vehicles would make their purchases even without the subsidy,” said Mark Milke, Independent Policy Analyst and Co-Author of the publication. “Those subsidies are therefore a pure loss, with no resulting reduction in GHGs.”

Ultimately, the incentives have the Ontario government paying 29 times the carbon market, and 52 times the upcoming federal tax for each tonne of GHG reduced; in Quebec that comes out to 16 and 29 times, respectively.

“The Quebec and Ontario governments have to face facts. Subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles not only have little effect on GHG emissions, but they also cost taxpayers a lot of money. Common sense, both economically and ecologically speaking, argues in favour of reducing these subsidies, and even eliminating them,” said Milke.

The entire Economic Note can be found at:

June 23, 2017
Evoto Rentals, launched earlier this year, now offers Tesla Model X vehicles as part of its fleet. Currently operating in Montreal, Quebec, Evoto plans to expand to Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver in the future.

Evoto rents Tesla Model S and Model X, and in the future the Model 3. They are rented through or over the phone. Free delivery and pick up, charging, unlimited mileage, and adding a second driver are all part of the rental experience.

Evoke uses a paperless online billing system and rates begin at $350/per day. A chauffeur service with the vehicle is available for minimum four hours at $90/hour. For those with kids, an electric kids car, the Tesla Mini S is also available.

June 12, 2017

Electric Mobility Canada hosted the EV2017 Conference and Trade Show at the Hilton Toronto in Markham, Ontario recently.

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May 26, 2017
Nissan has announced that Pre-owned LEAF vehicles will be available for purchase or lease in Quebec with a $4,000 incentive as part of the province’s Drive Electric program. Qualifying vehicles are 2013 or 2014 model year and registered outside of Quebec. Any LEAF vehicles coming from the U.S. will need to be modified to Canadian regulations.

“The Nissan LEAF Qualified Pre-Owned Program is another demonstration of Nissan’s pledge to create intelligent mobility solutions, by broadening the accessibility and practicality of electric vehicles,” says Joni Paiva, president of Nissan Canada Inc.

The program is designed to contribute to the Quebec government's goal of 100,000 electric and plug in hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2020.

May 22, 2017

Plug’n Drive officially opened its Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is the world’s first experiential learning facility dedicated to EV education and awareness.

"The EV Discovery Centre will serve as an EV hub for consumers throughout Ontario and for visitors from around the world,” said Cara Clairman, President and CEO, Plug’n Drive. "We are providing a one-stop-shop where consumers can explore and test-drive the latest EV models – alongside charging solutions at home and on the road."

The EV Discovery Centre is aims to help accomplish the goal of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to expand EV sales to five per cent of all new vehicles sold by 2020.

"We are investing proceeds from Ontario's carbon market into Plug'n Drive's Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre to encourage more Ontarians to make the switch to low-carbon transportation and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Minister Glen Murray. "As part of Ontario's Climate Change Action, we are helping to tackle emissions from the transportation sector, which is the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the province."

The centre provides visitors with the knowledge they need to consider an EV as their next vehicle.

May 22, 2017
Magna has committed to investing $5 million into Vector Institute, a Canandian independent AI facility located in Toronto.

"The automotive world is changing rapidly, reacting and innovating in response to massive technological advances," said Don Walker, CEO, Magna International. "Canada is a leader in the potential game-changers of machine learning and AI, and we want to be at the forefront of its advancements in the automotive sector."

Vector will be dedicated to exploration of AI, specializing in transformative fields of deep learning and machine learning. Magna's AI strategy encompasses two key areas: manufacturing and autonomous driving.

May 22, 2017
Lyft and Waymo have partnered to help launch self-driving vehicles.

“We can confirm that we are partnering with Waymo to safely and responsibly launch self-driving vehicle pilots. Waymo holds today’s best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation,” said a Lyft spokesperson.

Both hope the collaboration will help to accelerate the way people use transportation; namely self-driving vehicles.

“We’re looking forward to working with Lyft to explore new self-driving products that will make our roads safer and transportation more accessible. Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places,” said a Waymo spokesperson.

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