MONTREAL, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The founding partners of The Electric Circuit—Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert, RONA, METRO, the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) and Hydro-Québec—are pleased to announce yesterday's signing of partnership agreements with the City of Sherbrooke and several other organizations to form a new electric community. Agreements have been reached with the Université de Sherbrooke, Cégep de Sherbrooke, Centre de santé et de services sociaux-Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke (CSSS-IUGS), Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke (CSRS), Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) and Bishop's University.
The first public charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) were commissioned yesterday at the Marché de la Gare, the parking lot at La Grenouillère downtown, the Plateau Sylvie-Daigle and the Centre récréatif de Rock Forest. Approximately fifteen more will gradually be installed in the Sherbrooke area to encourage drivers to opt for EVs. The cost of using them is $2.50 per charge, no matter how long it takes.
By setting up charging stations and purchasing EVs, the Sherbrooke partners are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region. The latest report on GHGs in the City of Sherbrooke shows that about 90% are emitted by transportation vehicles.
"The City of Sherbrooke is proud to be joining The Electric Circuit. We already have a few EVs in our fleet and will definitely continue in this direction," said Mayor Bernard Sévigny.
"We're delighted to welcome the Université de Sherbrooke and several other local organizations to The Electric Circuit," said Pierre-Luc Desgagné, Hydro-Québec's Senior Director - Strategic Planning, speaking for The Electric Circuit's founding partners. "The establishment of this electric community confirms the expansion of our network into a number of Québec regions."
Signing on to The Electric Circuit fits with the Cégep de Sherbrooke's 2006 sustainable development policy, which was recently accepted into the CSA Registered Carbon Neutral Program. "You have to be bold enough to create the conditions for change," said equipment services manager Jean Lussier. With the installation of a charging station, the cegep is encouraging the promotion and adoption of sustainable transport.
The CSSS-IUGS feels it is important to demonstrate corporate social responsibility by taking part in this collective effort. "We're always on the lookout for new ways to promote and facilitate sustainable transport for our 2,735 employees and the entire CSSS-IUGS community. After implementing alternatives like shuttlebuses and mass transit, we hope this will serve as a new incentive to reassess our modes of transportation," said general manager Carol Fillion."
For the CHUS, the installation of plug-in charging stations is a new measure that diversifies and augments the sustainable transport program implemented in 2006. According to Carole Larose, assistant manager of technical services, "the program's continuous development reflects our desire to play an active role in environmental protection. Every gesture becomes more meaningful when a community takes part it in, and our goal is to facilitate participation."
Joining The Electric Circuit helps "keep the Université de Sherbrooke on the cutting edge of innovation in sustainable mobility and is in line with the sustainable development orientations of the university's strategic plan, Réussir 2010-2015," said Dean of Engineering Professor Gérard Lachiver.
"The CSRS is pleased to be part of this new electric community, because our organization subscribes to the principles of sustainability. We're helping to get at least one 240-V charging station up and running. It will be installed in a high-school parking lot by the end of the year," said school board chairman Gilles Normand.
"Bishop's supports The Electric Circuit and is proud of this partnership to promote sustainability," said Michel Caron, the university's director of building and grounds services.
The Electric Circuit
The Electric Circuit is a major milestone in the rollout of the charging infrastructure needed to support the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) in Québec and is in line with the Québec government's 2011-2020 Action Plan for Electric Vehicles.
Nearly 80 240-V Electric Circuit stations are already available in parking lots of the AMT, as well as those of many RONA hardware stores, Metro grocery stores and St-Hubert restaurants in the greater Montréal and Québec areas. There will be over 150 charging stations in the province by the end of the year. After that, the rollout of 240-V and even faster 400-V charging stations will expand as more electric vehicles hit Québec roads.
EV owners do most of their recharging at home and at work, but they can travel worry free, knowing they can top up their batteries on the road if they need to. Electric Circuit users also have access to a 24/7 telephone help line run by CAA-Québec, as well as a charging station locator service. Of course, The Electric Circuit Web site, www.theelectriccircuit.com, is updated as new stations are installed or commissioned.
For further information:
Hydro-Québec, for The Electric Circuit
City of Sherbrooke