Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario government is commissioning a study to help determine safety standards for low-speed electric vehicles and how they can be used safely on the province’s roads. Low-speed vehicles are defined as four-wheeled vehicles powered by an electric motor that can reach a maximum speed of between 32 and 40 km/h.
Ontario is currently testing low-speed vehicles in parks and conservation areas, but does not allow them on public roads because they do not meet federal passenger car safety standards or Highway Traffic Act equipment requirements. Intended for use in controlled environments such as parks and gated communities, they need only meet three federal safety standards, whereas passenger cars must meet 40 standards.
“We want low-speed electric vehicles on our roads, and we are looking at how it can be done safely,” said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley. “Additional safety features may be necessary, and this study will help us determine our next steps. I look forward to getting these results and to getting these vehicles on the road.”
In 2006, Ontario launched a five-year pilot project to allow low-speed vehicles in provincial and municipal parks and conservation areas across the province. Electric passenger cars that meet all 40 federally-mandated passenger car safety and equipment standards are currently allowed on Ontario’s public roads.