Toronto, Ontario – The government of Ontario has formed a partnership with mobility operator Better Place to help bring an electric car network to the province, and create a model for the adoption of electric cars in Canada.

The province of Ontario, which is one of North America’s largest car-producing regions, seeks to transition its auto manufacturing sector for future growth from electric vehicle production, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“With today’s announcement, Ontario is taking a system-wide approach to retooling its economy for growth and environmental leadership,” said Shai Agassi, founder and CEO of the California-based Better Place. “Our partnership will move Ontario toward a new era in personal transportation, from the current Car 1.0 model centered on the internal combustion engine, to a Car 2.0 model of electric cars powered by renewable energy. Today’s announcement is the all-important first step in an expected electric car charging network rollout for Canada, and we look forward to working in partnership with the Ontario government on it.”

Better Place will establish its Canadian head office in Ontario, and build an electric vehicle demonstration and education centre in Toronto. The province has committed to conducting a comprehensive study, scheduled for release in May, which will look at ways to speed up the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles. Concurrently, Better Place will be developing an electric car charging network plan and timeline. Under the model, the company will plan and install a network of charge spots and battery exchange stations, giving drivers the same convenience to “top off” as they do with gasoline stations. Charge spots will be installed in parking spaces at homes, work and retail locations, while drivers travelling longer distances will pull into battery exchange stations to swap a deleted battery for a fresh one, in less time than it takes to fill a car with gasoline.

Better Place is partnering with Bullfrog Power, Canada’s only retailer of 100 per cent green electricity, and Macquarie Group, a global provider of investment and funds management. In Ontario, Bullfrog will provide all of the renewable energy needed to power the Better Place network.

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