Quebec hopes to expand its role as Canada's electric car capital
Published Saturday, April 8, 2017 2:33PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, April 9, 2017 12:09PM EDT
In just a few years, Quebec has established itself as Canada’s electric car capital but the provincial government is taking steps to make the vehicles even more common on the province’s roads.
Half of Canada’s electric cars have been sold in Quebec but they still make up just a fraction of overall vehicles.
To push those numbers up, the government funds the Innovative Vehicle Institute whose latest project is lending electric cars to businesses so they can discover the benefits.
“They want to make the transition to electric vehicles, but they don’t have all the information,” said IVI project manager Vincent Bordeleau.
With Quebec’s low electricity costs, the government believes the vehicles will save taxpayers money and keep wealth inside the province.
“Instead of purchasing gas from elsewhere, all the electricity is produced here,” said Bordeleau.
At the Bourgeouis Chevrolet dealership, electric cars have become big business. Four years ago, general manager Hugo Jeanson tried out a recently traded-in Chevy Volt and quickly realized hybrid cars like it, with their quiet engines and low cost to fill up, would be the future.
“I decided to try it for a week and I fell in love with the car,” he said. “I used to put $100 a week in gas. I did the entire week without putting any money in the car.”
The Volt can go roughly 100 kilometers on a single charge and contains a gas engine backup if the battery runs out. That engine can go for another 450 kilometers.
Jeanson said once he started pushing the model, the sales were immediate.
“When you sell a Volt, the customer really loves their car and they’re going to make us sell another,” he said.