Hydro-Québec partners with Ford to develop electric vehicles


Thierry Vandal,
President & CEO,
Montreal, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — June 11, 2009 – Hydro-Québec has joined a North America wide demonstration and research program on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) with Ford Motor Company.

Ford, in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is undertaking a three-year test program on the Ford Escape PHEV designed to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating PHEVs into the electric grid. EPRI has identified nine utilities across North America to test drive the vehicles and collect data on battery technology, vehicle systems, customer use and grid infrastructure. In total, Ford has provided 21 vehicles for the real-world trials.

Hydro-Québec is the only Canadian company participating in the North American Ford PHEV program.

“The transport sector accounts for 42 percent of Québec’s greenhouse gas emissions,” noted Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec’s president and CEO. “The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that could be achieved through the electrification of transport in Québec, where 98 percent of the electricity is produced from renewable sources would be considerable. Hydro-Québec will act as a leader in this area.”

The average consumption of one million all-electric vehicles, which represent 25 percent of Québec’’s cars, is 3 TWh.

“We believe collaboration with utility companies to explore new business models, standards, infrastructure, and communication between vehicle and electric grids will be a key component to advancing the commercialization of electric vehicles in the coming years,” added Nancy Gioia, director, Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle programs at Ford Motor Company.

The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid, a research vehicle using high voltage, lithium-ion batteries, uses common household current (120 V) for charging. Full charge of the battery takes six to eight hours.

When driven for the first 30 miles (48 km) following a full charge, the Ford Escape PHEV can achieve up to 120 mpg (2 l/100 km) when driven on surface streets. The vehicle is not range limited by the amount of charge available in the high voltage lithium-ion battery, because once the charge in the battery has been depleted the vehicle continues to operate as a standard Ford Escape Hybrid. The transition is automatic and unnoticeable to the driver.