Friday, February 26, 2010

When You Know You're Behind in EVs: Canada 300; China 500,000

Just another day in blogland, right. Feb 23 - nothing too remarkable going on... ho-hum, oh! look at this: Toronto wants at least 300 electric cars by 2012. Wow! a veritable industrial revolution!

Directly from Auto-blog-green:

"Now, the Greater Toronto Area is getting its act together with the EV300 program that intends to get at least 300 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and pure electric vehicles (EVs) into public and private fleets by 2012. The City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation already have plug-in vehicles in their fleets. Gerry Pietschmann, director of fleet services for the City of Toronto, said that EV300 will allow fleets to:

pool their purchasing power and share information about what works and what doesn't when it comes to electric vehicles. It also helps us to identify what needs to be done to better support the use of electric vehicles, whether it is making charging points more available or teaching drivers how best to operate this new breed of vehicles."
 So I'm thinking, yeah, OK, that's not bad... not great maybe but...

Then someone sends me this link:

And it continues with the following info on Green Car Advisor:

"China is launching a nationwide program to install electric vehicle charging stations as its auto industry begins developing plug-in vehicles with the stated goal of producing 500,000 plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars by the end of 2011."

It's not apples and apples, I know. Apparently the U.S. is actually hoping to produce something like half that number of EVs and hybrids in total.

But EV300?? For real?  Is that a number that Toronto's largest city should be targeting to have in public and private fleets for 2012? When China is targeting production of 500,000. It seems to me like you couldn't be less ambitious if you tried. Yet who knows? It is possible that other Canadian cities have even less challenging objectives.

In Jan. '09 with quite a bit of fanfare, Better Place announced a partnership with the government of Ontario with the intent of setting up a network of charging stations. Nothing seems to have changed or happened since the initial press release, judging by the Better Place website. Canada needs more real EV initiative fast.

To my way of thinking, we will never catch up if we allow China to get so far out in front.

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