If you own a hybrid vehicle and live in a northern climate you probably have noticed that your fuel efficiency drops during the winter. I’ve noticed this with the Prius I drive. During warmer months I can get my mileage up into the high 40’s, but in the winter it plummets into the 30’s, especially on a bitter cold day.
The province of Quebec and the local public utility company plan on testing 50 all electric vehicles in a partnership with Mitsubishi Motors. The joint $4.4 million project will test the vehicles against the rigors of the Canadian climate, and the infrastructure needed to support these all electric vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors is providing the province with 50 i-Miev four door all electric vehicles. This will be the largest trial of all electric vehicles in Canada. Organizers said the road test is the first to include a car manufacturer, public utility, municipality and local businesses, which will integrate Mitsubishi i-Mievs into existing fleets. Mitsubishi says its Innovative Electric Vehicle, or i-Miev, is an all-electric, highway-capable, charge-at-home commuter car. Quebec’s provincial government hopes the project can help them identify the infrastructure that will be needed to support all electric vehicles in the home, work place, and public areas. Quebec was Canada’s first province to adopt California’s strict auto emission standards. The new rules went into effect Thursday and impose increasingly stringent limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. U.S. cities that face similar temperature constraints should watch this project carefully. Quebec’s experiment could provide the blue print for colder cities to adopt all electric vehicles; despite the weather extremes they face.