Electric vehicle technology roadmap for Canada outlined


Montreal, QC, Canada — (METERING.COM) — October 1, 2009 – The development of a charging infrastructure, codes and standards, and policies, as well as public education and consumer acceptance are among the steps necessary to achieve the timely and effective commercialization of electric vehicles (EVs) in Canada, according to a new electric vehicle technology roadmap for the country.

Governments and industry must work together on ensuring that these steps are taken, continues the roadmap, adding that the most important of these activities is energy storage, with progress toward the widespread use of EVs depending above all on the one factor of increasing the amount of electrical energy that can be stored in a given volume or weight on board a vehicle, thereby extending electric traction’s range.

The roadmap, which covers all electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, is intended to provide the strategic direction to ensure the development and adoption of EVs in Canada, while building a robust industry. The target is at least 500,000 EVs in the country by 2018.

Key recommendations in the roadmap are to make timely and substantial investments in Canadian development and manufacture of EVs and in energy storage devices, and to consider supplementing federal, provincial and territorial mechanisms to promote the development, public acceptance and procurement of personal and commercial EVs, and the installation of the charging infrastructure.

Options for the charging infrastructure should be tested in each major region of Canada, including smart charging and vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid arrangements, and vehicle use should be tested in real-world operation to assess the reliability and durability of energy storage and other components.

The roadmap also calls for building codes and other regulations to be amended to require that at least the rough-in for outlets for charging EVs is included in all new buildings, and for North American standards and practices concerning the integration of EV components, including charger interfaces, to be harmonized.

Studies are also required to estimate how much EVs will increase the demand for national and regional electrical energy and power over several periods and at several levels of market penetration, and to assess the current and expected future ability to handle these demands, noting additions that would be required to the generation and distribution infrastructure.

The market for EVs in Canada is growing as Canadians look for cleaner, more efficient vehicles, says the roadmap. Research confirms that consumers in North America are willing to pay more for an EV if the environmental benefits are significant. In Canada, it is expected that these benefits can be achieved because the majority of its electricity is generated from renewable and low emission sources.

The basic message of the roadmap is clear: early action, mainly by governments and industry, will sustain Canada’s strong position in electric transportation and enhance it for the benefit of all Canadians.

The roadmap culminates 15 months of cross-Canada consultations involving private sector companies in the electric vehicle industry, academics and government agencies by Electric Mobility Canada.