Hydro-Québec and Ford work together to develop electric vehicles

    MONTREAL, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec and Ford Motor Company
announced today that Hydro-Québec has joined a North America wide
demonstration and research program on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

    - First Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) delivered in Canada to Hydro-
    - Collaboration between Ford and utilities key to advance
      commercialization of electric vehicles
    - Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid with lithium-ion battery achieves up to
      120 mpg (2 L / 100 km- approximately)

    Ford, in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),
is undertaking a three-year test program on the Ford Escape PHEV designed to
develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating PHEVs into the
electric grid. EPRI has identified nine utilities across North America to test
drive the vehicles and collect data on battery technology, vehicle systems,
customer use and grid infrastructure. In total, Ford has provided 21 vehicles
for the real-world trials. Hydro-Québec is the only Canadian company
participating in the North American Ford PHEV Program.
    Vehicle electrification is a sound environmental choice that will play an
important role in the fight against climate change. Furthermore, it could be
very advantageous for consumers to refuel at plug rather than at the pump.
Refueling costs for an average vehicle driven 18 000 km per year would be $244
as opposed to $1 383, which is 6 times less costly.
    "We have to accelerate the replacement of oil by electricity for
individual transportation and public transit. The transport sector accounts
for 42% of Québec's greenhouse gas emissions. The reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions that could be achieved through the electrification of transport in
Québec, where 98% of the electricity is produced from renewable sources would
be considerable. Hydro-Québec will act as a leader in this area," noted
Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec's president and CEO.
    The average consumption of one million all-electric vehicles, which
represent 25% of Québec's cars, is 3 TWh, the equivalent of the annual
generation of the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric facility.
    The electrification of vehicles has sparked significant interest in the
U.S.A and Canada. PHEVs are one element of our blueprint for sustainability
that includes actions ranging from refinements in gasoline fueled engines and
transmissions, to the development of battery electric vehicles.
    "The delivery of this Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid vehicle today represents
another step in our development and understanding of the technology and its
place in the overall energy picture," said Nancy Gioia, director, Sustainable
Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle programs at Ford Motor Company. "We
believe collaboration with utility companies to explore new business models,
standards, infrastructure, and communication between vehicle and electric
grids will be a key component to advancing the commercialization of electric
vehicles in the coming years".
    "This project will move us forward. Québec is a leader in the field of
renewable energy and will also be helping to accelerate the development of
electric vehicles," said Claude Béchard, Minister of Natural Resources and
Wildlife. "In developing materials to enhance battery performance and
motorization, we are in the avant-garde.Testing of the TM4 electric motor,
made by one of Hydro-Québec's subsidiaries, on the Indica EV, will be taking
place in Norway shortly. The day of electric vehicles has arrived and I firmly
believe that they represent progress,"said Mr. Béchard.
    The collaboration between Hydro-Quebec, Ford and EPRI represents a
valuable contribution to the development of commercially viable plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles," said Arshad Mansoor, Vice-President of Power Delivery and
Utilization at EPRI. "The expansion of field testing into Canada will enable
us to gather the data required for the seamless integration into the grid
while providing a pleasant driving experience."
    The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid, a research vehicle using high voltage,
lithium-ion batteries, uses common household current (120 volts) for charging.
Full charge of the battery takes six to eight hours.
    When driven for the first 30 miles (48 km) following a full charge, the
Ford Escape PHEV can achieve up to 120 mpg (2 L /100 km- approximately) when
driven on surface streets. The vehicle is not range limited by the amount of
charge available in the high-voltage lithium-ion battery, because once the
charge in the battery has been depleted, the vehicle continues to operate as a
fuel efficient, standard Ford Escape Hybrid. The transition is automatic and
unnoticeable to the driver.

    About Ford Motor Company

    Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 205,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the
company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The
company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For
more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

    About Hydro-Québec

    Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole
shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating
options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of wind energy
through purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts research
in energy-related fields, such as energy efficiency. For more information on
Hydro-Québec, please visit www.hydroquebec.com.

    About EPRI

    The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts
research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of
electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit
organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as
experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity,
including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's
members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and
delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40
countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto,
Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass. www.epri.com

For further information:

For further information: Christine Hollander, Ford of Canada, (514)
744-1800 ext. 4255, chollan1@ford.com; Flavie Côté, Hydro-Québec, (514)
289-2220, Cote.Flavie@hydro.qc.ca; Pascal D'Astous, Québec Department of
Natural Resources and Wildlife, (418) 643-7295,
pascal.dastous@mrnf.gouv.qc.ca; Clay Perry, Electric Power Research Institute,
(202) 293-6184, clperry@epri.com

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