A sustainable electric futureHydro-Québec has what it takes to play an active part in transportation electrification: clean, renewable energy, a reliable grid, recognized expertise and promising technologies. Its efforts in this area are defined in a plan with four thrusts:
- Financial support for the development of infrastructure for public transit.
- Development and marketing of advanced technologies.
- Test-driving and experimenting with integration into the power grid.
- Planning of vehicle charging infrastructure.
The company is involved in both public and personal transportation. In the area of public transit-trolleybuses, streetcars, commuter trains-it is participating in feasibility studies conducted by public transit authorities to determine exactly what electrical infrastructure is needed.
In terms of personal transportation, Hydro-Québec is carrying out pilot projects to document the driving experience, charging behaviors and needs of electric-vehicle users, the effect of cold on batteries and the impact of vehicle charging on power grids. The company has signed cooperative agreements with Mitsubishi Motors, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet.
Hydro-Québec is also working on the production and marketing of electric motors by its subsidiary TM4, while continuing to develop new products. Its research institute, IREQ, is taking part in efforts to improve the performance and reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries. Hydro-Québec patents the advanced materials it develops and then grants licences to battery manufacturers.
These initiatives could have substantial environmental benefits. Indeed, if Québec replaced 25% of its current fleet-or about one million vehicles-with electric vehicles, it would reduce GHG emissions by 4 million metric tons annually.
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