QUEBEC CITY, March 5, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first time at the Quebec Auto Show, CAA-Quebec, with the support of the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources (known by its French abbreviation MRN), is offering visitors the opportunity to road-test a plug-in electric (PEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) on a city route. Members of the public can try out the latest green vehicle models, and even get behind the wheel of cars that aren't yet on the market, such as the Ford Fusion Energi and smart fortwo electric drive.
The Quebec City Auto Show officially opens this morning, with the Mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, and the Minister of Natural Resources Martine Ouellet, among other VIPs, in attendance.
Contribution of the CCARQ and MRN
Supporting this CAA-Quebec initiative are the Corporation des concessionnaires d'automobiles de la régionale de Québec (CCARQ, the local chapter of the provincial automotive dealers' corporation), which is an organizer of the show, and the MRN, which is contributing financially. "The new government wants to make electrification of transportation a key component of its new energy policy," Minister Ouellet emphasizes, adding: "We believe that electrification of transportation is a project that holds promise for economic development as well as the enhancement of our environment and our quality of life."
Demystifying the technology
To test-drive one of the vehicles, all visitors need to do is go to the Éco-Zone in the right-hand wing of the main hall of the Centre des foires. Specially trained personnel will accompany each driver for the road test after they register and their driver's licence has been checked. A vehicle will be assigned to them, and they will test-drive it along a 5.1 km urban route, which combines city and highway driving conditions so drivers can fully appreciate the vehicle's overall behaviour.
"PEVs and PHEVs are becoming increasingly common all around us," notes Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Assistant Vice President, Public and Government Relations. "They're in the news a lot, and people can get a good idea of their features from automotive columnists' reports, but it's not often that they get the chance to actually drive one. Today, we're inviting members of the public to get behind the wheel of an electric car, assess its driveability, and arrive at an informed opinion about this type of vehicle."
Several models available
All of the best-known PEVs and PHEVs will be available to test-drive: the Ford Focus Electric, Ford C-MAX Energi, Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-In, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Energi and smart fortwo electric drive.
A huge success in Montreal
In January, at the Montreal International Auto Show, more than 1,700 road tests took place, with some 3,400 people getting a chance to evaluate one of these vehicles. "Seeing so many people ask questions, for example about how the technology works, and how to use home charging stations, and being able to provide them with clear explanations is, for us, a guarantee of this activity's success," Ms. Gagnon concludes.
Visitors to the CAA-Quebec stand in the Éco-Zone will also be able to enter for a chance to win the use of a PEV or PHEV for one year, plus installation of a home charging station and a set of winter tires, thanks to the contribution of the Corporation des concessionnaires automobiles du Québec (CCAQ), Leviton and Pirelli. That's one more reason to come and try out the technology!
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,210,000 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