Toronto Hydro and smart Canada announced the launch of Canada’s first electric vehicle program designed specifically for automotive retail customers.
As one of the first production electric vehicles available in the country, the smart fortwo electric drive will play an “integral role” in this pilot project formally named the Toronto Hydro smart Experience.
“The goal of the Toronto Hydro smart Experience is to study the driving patterns, charging habits and the impact on the electricity grid of the Toronto-area lead ambassadors who will participate in this unique and informative pilot program,” the company said in a release.
While other electric vehicle programs currently in the Canadian marketplace are geared to corporate fleets, smart reps say this is the first program tailored specifically to automotive retail customers.
“Considering our ongoing commitment to innovation, the smart fortwo electric drive is a natural progression for the smart fortwo platform,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada.
The new smart platform runs on a lithium-ion battery offering a range of approximately 135 km when fully charged without producing any local emissions.
Studying the potential impact on Toronto's electricity infrastructure is a key element of the four-year pilot program. Toronto Hydro will also provide the lead ambassadors selected for the program with a charging station, a power meter and electricity, all at its own cost, for the duration of the pilot program.
“We like this project because it brings Toronto consumers into the picture. This will provide Toronto Hydro with grassroots consumer feedback on electric vehicle use in an urban environment. Understanding the consumer's electric vehicle experience on the street, and when plugging in, is critical to enabling us to build a modern grid in Toronto.”
Toronto Hydro customers interested in participating in this project are required to fill out a program application online here.
A total of 15 vehicles will be made available to Toronto Hydro customers who meet all of the eligibility requirements.