Montreal, Quebec – Ford Motor Company has announced that Hydro-Québec has become the first and only Canadian company participating in a North America-wide demonstration and research program on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).

In collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Ford is undertaking a three-year test program on the Ford Escape PHEV designed to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating PHEVs into the electric grid. EPRI has identified nine utilities across North America to test-drive the vehicles and collect data on battery technology, vehicle systems, customer use and grid infrastructure. Ford has provided 21 vehicles for the real-world trials.

The automaker estimates that refuelling costs for an average vehicle driven 18,000 km per year would be $244 for electricity, as opposed to $1,383 for gasoline.

“We have to accelerate the replacement of oil by electricity for individual transportation and public transit,” said Thierry Vandal, president and CEO of Hydro-Québec. “The transport sector accounts for 42 per cent of Quebec’s greenhouse gas emissions. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that could be achieved through the electrification of transport in Quebec, where 98 per cent of the electricity is produced from renewable sources, would be considerable. Hydro-Québec will act as a leader in this area.”

The average consumption of one million all-electric vehicles, which represents 25 per cent of Quebec’s cars, is 3 TWh, the equivalent of the annual generation of the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric facility.

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