After more than 25 years of pondering the possibilities of owning my very own electric vehicle (EV) I’ve finally taken the plunge. Today I purchased a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, a 2017 Chevrolet Volt.

My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

The award-winning Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid manufactured by General Motors. Canada is the world’s second largest market with almost 6,400 Volts sold through May 2016.

The Volt operates as a pure battery electric vehicle until its battery capacity drops to a predetermined threshold from full charge. From there its internal combustion engine powers an electric generator to extend the vehicle’s range as needed. The Volt’s regenerative braking also contributes to the on-board electricity generation.

The second generation Volt improved battery system and drivetrain increased the all-electric range to 53 miles (85 km), its EPA rated fuel economy in charge-sustaining mode to 42 mpg-US (5.6 L/100 km), and the combined city/highway fuel economy in all-electric mode to 106 MPG-e, up from 98 MPG-e.[9] 

My fascination with ending dependency on fossil fuels continues. I hope to see electric vehicles tested in the Cote Saint-Luc fleet soon. (FCM, Niagara Falls, ON, May 2014)

My fascination with ending dependency on fossil fuels. I look forward to seeing electric vehicles in the Cote Saint-Luc fleet soon. (FCM, Niagara Falls, ON, May 2014)

The Volt’s range extending engine eliminates the worry of range anxiety, or running out of power once the battery is depleted. Also, the Volt can be plugged into any standard 110 volt household power source for overnight charging or a Level 2 – 240 volt – charger for a fast three or four hour charge.

Sun Country representatives promoted electric vehicle (EV) possibilities for municipal fleets and EV charging stations. CSL will soon install its first EV charging stations.

Sun Country representatives promoted electric vehicle (EV) possibilities for municipal fleets and EV charging stations at the 2016 Federation of CDN Municipalities conference

At 85 km pure electric I anticipate that my travel needs will be easily handled in all electric 90% of the time. This freedom from the gas pump eliminates pollutants from spewing into our urban environment, both air pollution as well as noise, owing to the silent engine.

I visited the ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) Auto manufacturer in St. Jerome in Oct. 2008 and took this early model electric for a spin around the test track

I visited the ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) Auto manufacturer in St. Jerome in Oct. 2008 and took this early model electric for a spin around the test track

 

Test driving the Chevrolet Volt at the 2015 Montreal Electric Car Show

Test driving the Chevrolet Volt at the 2015 Montreal Electric Car Show – Branchez Vous

I’ve long promoted the EV movement politically. I’ve advocated for the City of Cote Saint-Luc to purchase EVs and to install public charging stations. CSL will install its first charging stations this year and we are planning the purchase of EVs for our municipal fleet. I’ve also encouraged the Jewish General Hospital and West-Central Montreal Health network to install charging stations at each site. Some already have such installations, others will follow soon.

EV charging station sign

In my many encounters with Mount Royal Member of the National Assembly, Pierre Arcand, I’ve often spoken of my thoughts on the Quebec government doing much more to promote EVs. Currently the province offers an $8000 rebate on EVs (thank you very much) as well as a subsidy for charging stations, free passage on provincial ferries and usage of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes even with one person on board. Ontario, by comparison, offers rebates up to $14,000. With a goal of 100,000 EVs on Quebec roads by 2020 the government will have to do much more to move current numbers beyond the 8500 EVs in the province. The proliferation of public charging stations on highways and urban centres will be a move in the right direction. The government should easily order every department, agency and ministry under its authority to install such infrastructure. Schools and health centres, city halls and libraries, sports centres and parks should all be equipped with this equipment.

My wife and I chatting with Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand about Quebec's roadway electrification (May 2015)

My wife and I chatting with Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand about Quebec’s roadway electrification (May 2015)

 

So, off I go on this new journey, finding new roads, silently. I hope some of you will join me.

 

Thank you Gerard Jerejian of Gravel Decarie for your expert guidance

Thank you Gerard Jerejian of Gravel Decarie for your expert guidance