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Use electric vehicles for car-sharing programs in Montreal: Communauto

Use electric vehicles for car-sharing programs in Montreal: Communauto

By Lynn Moore, THE GAZETTE September 26, 2013

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Use electric vehicles for car-sharing programs in Montreal: Communauto

A test driver takes the Nissan Leaf for a spin, as Communauto announces that the car sharing service will add the all electric vehicle to its fleet. The announcement was made in Montreal Monday, August 15, 2011.
Photograph by: Vincenzo D’Alto , Gazette File Photo

Montreal politicians should insist on electric vehicles for one-way car-sharing programs, Communauto said Thursday.

“Be ambitious for Montreal,” company president Benôit Robert said after releasing preliminary data on a pilot project it operated this summer in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.

The data indicate that emissions-free electric vehicles are a “potentially viable and financially sound option,” and one that will help make Montreal a showcase for sustainable transportation, he said.

One-way car-sharing programs allow users to pick up a vehicle and drop it off wherever they like within a region of the city. About 20 electric cars were made available in the Plateau for the pilot project.

But competitor car2go, which was not part of the pilot project but has offered its services to the city to operate one-way car-sharing programs, contends that it is too early for Montreal to rely on an electric fleet.

“In order to have a system that works, you need a massive (electric vehicle) infrastructure for it. Montreal is not there yet,” Jérémi Lavoie, general manager of car2go Montreal, said in an interview.

The company, a subsidiary of Daimler, which makes the Mercedes-Benz Smart car, has car-sharing services in Europe and North America, including in Vancouver and Toronto.
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