Hydro-Québec adds electric to its fleet

Hydro-Quebec Canadian fleet to use extended-range Chevrolet Volt.

December 2, 2010
by Purchasingb2b Staff

MONTREAL: Hydro-Québec and Chevrolet Canada today announced a new partnership by which Hydro-Québec will integrate 20 Chevrolet Volts into its fleet, starting in 2011.

“We are very pleased with this acquisition as it will enable us to include extended range technology in our portfolio of electric vehicle road tests,” said Thierry Vandal, president and CEO of Hydro-Québec. “Over the coming years, the addition of vehicles propelled by clean, renewable energy will have a major impact on Québec’s environmental balance sheet.”

By integrating the Volt into its fleet, Hydro-Québec intends to assess its environmental benefits, specifically in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

The Hydro-Québec’s Volts will mostly be used by customer service representatives and by regional community relations staff.

As the world’s first electric vehicle with extended range capability, the Volt has a total driving range of about 580 km. Chevrolet says the Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a full range of climates and driving conditions without the limitations of a traditional battery electric vehicle. For the first 40 to 80km, the Volt drives gas-free and produces zero tailpipe-emissions by using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a 1.4-litre gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly engages to extend the driving range about 500km on a full tank.

Volt can be charged via a standard 120 volt plug. However, those who would like to experience faster charging times could choose to install level 2 charging stations that are fed by 240 volts of electricity. Most electrically heated homes—common in Québec—can support the addition of a level 2 charging station without needing major electrical work. Hydro-Québec will act as a liaison between Chevrolet Canada, master electricians and the Corporation des maîtres électriciens (CMEQ) to ensure that future Volt drivers who wish to install such home charging stations can do so.

Photo: The Volt undergoes cold-weather testing in Kapuskasing, Ontario.