Montreal hopes to radically increase the number of electric cars on city streets within the next few years, as Mayor Denis Coderre unveiled plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 30 per cent by 2020.

Coderre also said he'd like to install many more public charging stations as a means to encourage motorists to switch to electric.

At the press conference Tuesday in Montreal, Coderre also shed light on his intention to encourage car sharing services such as Communauto and Car2Go to offer only electric cars.

He said the aim is to have 1,000 electric car sharing vehicles on the roads by 2020. Communauto currently has a fleet of 40 electric cars on the road and plans to have up to 60 by summer.

Coderre said he is on the lookout for more companies to invest here.

“They’re not just there to make money,” said the mayor. “They are there because they want to participate in the signature of the city. At the same time, they want to make something happen for the sake of the planet.”

Coderre said that the city is looking to partner with three companies to provide the charging stations.

Communauto said they're pleased the city is revving up for more electric cars, but they’re bothered by the call for tenders.

Spokesperson Marco Viviani said the company will submit a bid, but they’re not happy about it.
“It's hard to understand why we have to wait for a longer time, and wait for a selection when we already have electric cars and we already said to mayor that we are ready to invest in this,” he said.

It worries Projet Montreal as well, because it opens the door to international companies such as Borollé in France, which offers the service. Coderre met French President Francois Hollande during his recent visit there.

“It's troubling to us that the mayor is putting at risk an existing system that carries no risk to the taxpayer, that's inexpensive, that's growing rapidly, that's popular, with a potential monopoly that will cost more to consumers,” said Project Montreal city councillor Alex Norris.

The plan also includes increasing the number of charging stations in the hopes of eventually encouraging people to buy their own electric cars.

“That tool won't be only for car sharing companies; it will be for any owners of electric cars too,” said Coderre.