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BC Hydro and Chevrolet charge into clean mobility future


December 13, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

Vehicle fleets in British Columbia are going green thanks to a new partnership between BC Hydro and Chevrolet Canada. BC Hydro will work with the car maker to help place 15 Chevrolet Volts into the fleets of British Columbia-based organizations late next summer, with at least two of those vehicles being added to BC Hydro’s own fleet.

The partnership is aimed at promoting consumer adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and building awareness of the environmental benefits of the cars.

“Electric vehicles will play an important role in B.C.’s clean energy future. When powered by B.C.’s hydroelectricity, electric vehicles can greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation,” said energy minister Steve Thomson. “British Columbia is playing a lead role in creating a culture of acceptance for environmentally friendly transportation solutions, and we are pleased to be able to work with automotive industry leaders, like Chevrolet, to accelerate the arrival of plug-in vehicles to our province.”

With extended-range capability, the Volt has a total driving range of about 580 kilometres. For the first 40 to 80 kilometres, the vehicle drives gas-free and produces no tailpipe emissions, using electricity stored in the battery. When the battery runs low, an engine-generator engages to provide electricity, extending the Volt’s driving range by about 500 kilometres.

“We are pleased to work with BC Hydro as a leading partner to prepare to launch the Chevrolet Volt, an award-winning product that delivers an electric vehicle solution without compromise,” said Kevin Williams, president and managing director of GM of Canada. “Unlike any other electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt eliminates range-anxiety with its extended range capability, and gives customers the freedom to drive green without the fear of being stranded with a depleted battery.”

“There is significant interest in electric vehicles in B.C., and as the primary fuel supplier for these cars of the future, BC Hydro has been involved in numerous initiatives to learn more about how electric vehicles will interact with our electrical system,” said Bev Van Ruyven, deputy CEO and executive vice-president, BC Hydro. “As we work towards key clean energy goals, we will continue to advance sustainability and conservation and encourage British Columbians to use energy and all other resources wisely.”

To prepare for the arrival of electric vehicles, BC Hydro has taken the lead in the development of codes and standards, worked with Natural Resources Canada to develop guidelines for charging infrastructure guidelines and participated in a North America-wide R&D collaboration regarding plug-in vehicles with General Motors, the Electric Power Research Institute and 34 North American utilities to facilitate integration of plug-in hybrid vehicles into the grid.

CLICK HERE for BC Hydro.

CLICK HERE for Chevrolet Volt.