MONTREAL, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first time in Canada, an impressive fleet of plug-in electric (PEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) is being made available to the general public for free road tests, as part of the 45th Montreal International Auto Show, from January 18 to 27, 2013. More than 10 vehicles will be available for road tests on a course more than three kilometres long around the Palais des congrès.
In addition, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and CAA-Quebec are now offering an online portal, electricvehicles.caa.ca to raise awareness of new electric vehicle technology and to inform consumers not only about the models available but also about government incentives, electrical charging, charging station locations, and much more.
An important activity, with two Canadian firsts
CAA-Quebec's road tests, listed in the official Auto Show program, are made possible by the involvement of the Show's organizers and the collaboration of the Government of Quebec. CAA-Quebec has brought together the latest plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid models, including two Canadian firsts: the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and the Ford Fusion Energi. Also on display are the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Focus Electric, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt.
"For an organization like CAA-Quebec, known for its neutrality and objectivity, this type of activity fully reflects what we are and what our mandate is," states Sophie Gagnon, Assistant Vice President, Public and Government Relations, at CAA-Quebec. People need simply register at the booth in the Hall Viger to try out a plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, and guides will be there to answer their questions. Ms. Gagnon added: "Our goal is simple: to provide clear, accurate and unbiased information. We want consumers to benefit from our expertise in making fully informed choices about sustainable mobility solutions that truly meet their needs. This activity is a golden opportunity for visitors to the Show and for the general public."
Visitors to the Show can ask questions they may have to the staff on site, especially about charging stations. "We tend to forget that an electric vehicle doesn't come without a charging station, and there remains many questions in this regard," admitted Pierre Beaudoin, Senior Director of Technical Services at CAA-Quebec. "Charging methods, installation, operation, range, and so on - we want the experience to be complete. After all, these technologies are here to stay."
A vital online portal
In addition to the road tests, visitors stopping by the CAA-Quebec booth can visit electricvehicles.caa.ca, the new website developed by the CAA in collaboration with all its member clubs. This site is intended as a reference on hybrid and electric vehicles for all Canadians who want to know more about them. "Our research has found that the public is sorely lacking in information on these new technologies, and this shortcoming is holding back their adoption, which is how we got the idea of creating an information portal," explains Jeff Walker, the CAA's Vice President of Public Affairs (See the news release titled CAA survey: Quebecers are among the most likely to consider buying an electric vehicle).
The site contains a goldmine of information, such as a map showing the locations of charging stations across the country, as well as the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models available in Canada, the full range of government incentives available in the user's province of residence, and a calculator for comparing the costs of using a traditional vehicle vs. a hybrid or electric vehicle. "People often have the impression that a hybrid or electric vehicle costs more, but after comparing fuel consumption and adding government incentives, it is clear that this isn't necessarily true," Mr. Walker adds.
For a lucky winner: everything needed to travel electrically for two years
Everyone visiting CAA-Quebec's ecological mobility booth on the 7th floor will be offered a chance to win free rental of a plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle for two years, installation of a home charging station and a set of winter tires. "The winner and other household members will be able to see how easy it is to use and charge an electric vehicle and to notice the large amounts saved in fuel costs," Ms. Gagnon notes. This contest is made possible by the collaboration of the Corporation des concessionnaires d'automobiles du Québec (CCAQ) and of Pirelli and Leviton.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,195,000 members.
For further information:
Public Relations Officer
514 861-7111, ext. 3210
Cell.: 514 717-4040
418 624-2424, ext. 2418
Cell.: 418 580-1633