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Canada: Electric vehicles charge into the market

Ford spokesman Louis-Etienne Beaupre was among officials in Montreal to plug the electric Ford Focus at Technopole Angus, one of several events showcasing the evolving technology.
Photograph by: John Kenney , The Gazette
MONTREAL – Ford Motor Co. is in town showing off its new all-electric car at an environmental fair in Montreal’s Rosemont-Petite Patrie borough.

Also this weekend, at an upscale mall in Laval, Tesla Motors Inc. is showcasing its pre-production electric sedan, Model S, and considering where it will open its first service and retail outlets in the province.

Meanwhile, the folks at Hydro-Québec expect to shortly announce more corporate partners for the Electric Circuit, a network of public charging stations in the Montreal and Quebec City regions.

The electric vehicle movement seems to be on the march.

Quebecers have “an exceptional” interest in EVs compared to other North Americans, Tesla regional sales manager Hans Ulsrud said Friday from the Carrefour Laval mall.

It’s a combination of low electricity rates, high gas prices, provincial grants for electric vehicles of up to $8,000 along with a growing public infrastructure of charging stations, he said.

Production of the Model S is to start next month in California with Canadian deliveries at the end of September, Ulsrud said.

About 200 of the limited edition “signature series” will be sold in Canada, probably at close to the U.S. price of about $95,000.

The standard Model S – if you can call a luxury sedan standard – will probably be priced in Canada at about $57,000, close to the U.S. sticker, he said.

While Tesla’s first car, Roadster, was an all-electric, Ford has just recently added an all-electric model to the line of models that use its Ford Focus platform.

The Focus Electric is priced just over $41,000, Sean McLean, a Ford product trainer, said Friday at the site of the Project Écosphère fair.

The Ford Focus Titanium, the platform’s top-of-the-line model fuelled by gas, costs about $32,000, once all “the bells and whistles are on,” McLean said.

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