The Guide to Electric Vehicles: Everything you ever wanted to know about the electric car

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guide to electric cars


  • Electric driving: is it really greener?
  • Are electric cars really more expensive?
  • Can you use electric cars in the winter?

If you’ve been wondering about these questions and others about the EV, wonder no more. Former Quebec Environment Minister, Daniel Breton and Canadian Motosport Hall of Famer and Canada’s top automobile expert for 50 years, Jacques Duval answer these questions and much more.

The Guide to Electric, Hybrid and Fuel-Efficient Cars is surely the most definitive and complete go-to resource for EVs in North America, with special attention to Quebec winters. Eighty-five vehicles are reviewed along with everything you need to know about going electric. With more than 285 photos this is the only source anyone interested in exploring EVs will need to quench their thirst for information in the fast-growing segment of green transportation.

The guide, published by Juniper Publishing, is laid out in an easy to read format, covering one hundred percent Electric, Plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) or an electric car with a range extender, Hybrid battery, Energy efficient  and Hydrogen cars. The manual gives a clear and concise rating on everything ranging from greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, smog rating and price.


The guide is interesting and entertaining to read looking back at EVs over the past two century (yes, the first EV actually dates back to the first half of the 1800s). It also takes a look at electric trams (Montreal was a leader dating back to the 1930s) and buses.

As a new EV owner I can attest to the usefulness of this guide and wish I had purchased a copy a year ago. For the uninitiated it can be a daunting task to figure out the new jargon and terminology around EVs. I don’t want to learn how to disassemble and rebuild a car, I only wanted to understand what I needed to know about buying a plug in. This book does the trick with ease.

What’s more, this is no industry rag or advertorial that paints a rosy picture on each and every car. Breton and Duval do a masterful job at spelling out the good, the bad and the ugly on each of the 85 vehicles they covered: What to consider and what to stay away from.

My new 2017 Chevy Volt parked in Westmount

My new 2017 Chevy Volt parked in Westmount

The authors also hand out medals for their top picks in each type of technology. Finally, there is a section detailing rebates, tax breaks, government benefits and shortcomings across the Canadian provinces and United States.

Thanks Daniel and Jacques for putting together an excellent resource guide. It was fun to read and I’m more knowledgeable o this exciting subject.

The Guide to Electric, Hybrid and Fuel-Efficient Cars is published by Juniper Publishing and available online and in store. I’ve seen it at Walmart. Ask for it at your public library or visit

CSL Public Works electric vehicle rolls into service

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CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The City of Cote Saint-Luc has taken delivery of its first all-electric vehicle. The KIA Soul will be used daily in the Public Works Department for some of its foremen.

So far it sports the CSL logo (as pictured above). Soon it will be striped similar to the CSL fleet, with a little flair to mark the significance of being an EV.
PW is currently charging the vehicle by 110v which can take up to 13 hours to charge, which is fine for overnight. The 240v charger will cut the time in half.
CSL Public Work's new electric vehicle plugges in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Work’s new electric vehicle plugged in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The new EV cost the city $35,000 before taxes. Once you deduct the Quebec government rebate of $8,000 the vehicle comes in at $32,000 including all taxes.

As reported on this blog EV Charging Stations are on order for PW and the ACC. As well, next year we will add a station at City Hall.

And, as promised, I will continue to promote EVs for the City of CSL. Special thanks to PW Director Bebe Newman who supports the acquisition of EVs for the city as a sound management decision and an environmentally wise choice.

CSL purchases first electric vehicle


Electric Car Icon

After much prodding over the last few years I am very proud and excited that Cote Saint-Luc City Council has finally agreed with my proposal to purchase electric vehicles as part of its fleet strategy beginning with a first acquisition of a KIA Soul for the Public Works Department. I was particularly proud to move this resolution at this week’s Public Council Meeting.

In June 2015 I wrote to Council:

I recently attended the Branchez Vous electric car show on Ile Ste. Helene. I was very impressed with the growing number of vehicles coming onto the market for consumers as well as corporate and industry fleets.

The Government of Quebec is heavily promoting its transportation electrification initiative and are offering $8000 rebates on vehicles and up to $5000 on charging stations (up to 75% rebate). The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has had several exhibits on electric vehicle fleet options for cities.

Having test driven an electric vehicle I was extremely impressed with its size, handling, storage and passenger capacity.
I’ve also noticed that Lantier, Quebec, with a population 828 residents, has an electric vehicle charging station at its city hall. It got me wondering why progressive and forward-thinking CSL doesn’t yet have one?
Furthermore, electric charging stations have been popping up in villages and towns all across Quebec: Complete list here:
My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

One year later, I have purchased my very own 2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with an estimated electric range of 85 kms. In less than three months I have yet to use a drop of gas for any of my city driving and I am not contributing any CO2 emissions to pollute our city. What’s more, the cost of electrical charging is roughly about one-eighth of the price of gas. (It’s a lot of fun too).

So with much encouragement and support by Council and Administration the city has finally approved the purchase of one electric vehicle, substituting the cargo van for Buildings and Trades in the Public Works Department.


The cost breakdown details are as follows:

Total before taxes: $35,216.90
QST: $3,512.89
Grand Total: $40,490.64
Less Gov’t Rebate: $8,000
Grand Total After Discount: $32,490.64

This KIA Soul model is the largest SUV style EV that has 4 doors and can carry up to 5 passengers.

Thanks as well for the ongoing support of fellow Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Dida Berku and Public Works Director Bebe Newman.

An EV Charging Station will soon be installed at PW with more to follow at the ACC and City Hall. And, I will continue to push for the electrification of the city’s fleet of vehicles.

To learn more about EVs right here in CSL mark October 27 at 7 PM into your calendar and check back here for details.


Oct. 25, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

Oct. 25, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge