Canada electric-car news: EV Awards, surging Solo sales, electric-bus boom


Winners of Canada's 2017 Electric Vehicle Awards

Winners of Canada's 2017 Electric Vehicle Awards

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Coming in mid-October, Canadian Thanksgiving roughly coincides with the return of ice hockey.

This year, the country’s plug-in electric vehicle fans have their own reasons for giving thanks—and not just because the National Hockey League followed Tesla’s lead and expanded into Nevada.

Among the items are the latest annual Electric Vehicle Awards, advances in advocacy, a spunky startup, and increased adoption of all-electric transit buses.

DON'T MISS: Plug-in electric car sales In Canada, Sep 2017: 1 percent now, 99 percent to go

EV Awards

The Canadian Electricity Association and plug-in electric vehicle advocacy group Plug’n Drive recently announced Canada’s three 2017 Electric Vehicle Awards (see opening photo).

Three awards were given to car dealerships that increase electric vehicle adoption through a combination of sales, marketing, community outreach and point-of-sale efforts, and one award went to a utility based on the merits and impacts of its electric vehicle programs and initiatives.

Winners are chosen by a panel spanning the non-profit, academic, automotive and electric utility sectors.  

Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, Quebec, Canada [photo: RoulezElectrique.com]

Bourgeois Chevrolet, Rawdon, Quebec, Canada [photo: RoulezElectrique.com]

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For the fourth year running, the Leading Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Dealership Award went to Quebec’s Bourgeois Chevrolet.

The dealership surged to early dominance and this year continued its leadership in the sale of plug-in electric vehicles, most prominently the Chevy Volt

For the third year running, the Leading Electric Vehicle Dealership Inspiration Award, for dealerships in provinces without electric vehicle incentives, went to Green Rock E.V.S. of Newfoundland and Labrador.

For the second year running, the Leading Battery Electric Vehicle Dealership Award went to British Columbia’s Campus Nissan. Located on Vancouver Island (north-south distance 285 miles, east-west distance 60 miles) the dealership has capitalized on the Nissan Leaf’s suitability for local drivers’ needs.

Finally, the Tom Mitchell Electric Vehicle Leadership Award—for utilities embracing the opportunity electric vehicles represent—went to Hydro Québec, the government-owned utility which has vigorously supported the electrification of transport as part of the province’s industrial policy.

Province of Quebec in Canada

Province of Quebec in Canada

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Advocacy efforts continue

Fall saw the formal launch of the EVchoice initiative, a collaboration between five academic and advocacy groups to raise support for a national Zero-Emission Vehicle strategy.

The province of Quebec adopted a ZEV mandate patterned on California’s last year (complete with references to miles being converted to the equivalent number of kilometers) and the federal government has convened expert committees to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles in Canada overall.

The committees are due to report back in the coming months.

In Ontario, the Electric Vehicle Society is attempting to connect electric vehicle-curious car buyers with owners through a chat-enabled smartphone app, currently in a crowd-funding competition.

The organization’s hope is to tap early adopters’ enthusiasm and willingness to share their experiences with new car buyers, who may be more trusting of having their questions answered by non-salespeople.

Electra Meccanica Solo

Electra Meccanica Solo

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Electra Meccanica Solo

Electra Meccanica Solo

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Electra Meccanica Solo

Electra Meccanica Solo

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Electra Meccanica Solo

Electra Meccanica Solo

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Electric upstart adventures

British Columbia-based Electra Meccanica announced in September that its order book—comprising non-binding deposits and letters of intent, primarily from corporate orders—stood at almost 20,000 units of the single-seat Solo commuter vehicle.

That car is now in limited production; the company said it has orders for more than 24,000 of the two-seat Tofino roadster, its next model, which is currently in development.

Electra Meccanica followed that announcement by saying it had a manufacturing agreement with Zongshen Industrial Group of China to manufacture 75,000 Solos over the next three years. On Monday, the company announced its intention to seek a NASDAQ listing for its stock.

A highway-capable three-wheeler, the single-seat Solo has a quoted range of 100 miles and a top speed (for less than that distance) of 137 mph.


 
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