Toronto Hydro launches first consumer electric vehicle pilot project in Canada


Marcus Breitschwerdt,
President & CEO,
Mercedes-Benz Canada
Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — November 30, 2010 – Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited and smart Canada, a division of Mercedes-Benz Canada, have launched Canada’s first electric vehicle program for automotive retail customers.

As one of the first production electric vehicles available in the country, the smart fortwo electric drive will play an integral role in this pilot project, which has been formally named the Toronto Hydro smart Experience. In addition, Toronto Hydro and smart Canada have delivered the first smart fortwo electric drive to a Toronto Hydro electric customer to officially launch the program.
The goal of the Toronto Hydro smart Experience is to study the driving patterns and charging habits of the “lead ambassadors” who will participate in the pilot program. While other electric vehicle programs currently in the Canadian marketplace are geared to corporate fleets, this is the first program tailored specifically to automotive retail customers.

Studying the potential impact on Toronto’s electricity infrastructure is another key element of the four-year pilot program. Toronto Hydro will also provide the 15 lead ambassadors selected for the program with a charging station, a power meter and electricity, all at its own cost, for the duration of the pilot program.

“We like this project because it brings Toronto consumers into the picture,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. “This will provide Toronto Hydro with grassroots consumer feedback on electric vehicle use in an urban environment. Understanding the consumer’s electric vehicle experience on the street, and when plugging in, is critical to enabling us to build a modern grid in Toronto.”

The smart fortwo with state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery offers excellent performance and a range of approximately 135 km when fully charged.