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Propelling Québec Forward with Electricity

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On October 9, 2015, the Québec Government launched its new Transportation Electrification Action Plan (TEAP) for 2015-2020, under the theme Propelling Québec Forward with Electricity.

In this contribution to TAC News, Martin Hotte, Sustainable Development and Intelligent Transportation Systems Service, Planning Division, ministère des Transports du Québec, provides an overview on Québec’s new Transportation Electrification Action Plan.  Proposed by TAC’s Climate Change Task Force, this feature article profiles climate change-related initiatives of TAC and its member organizations.

The TEAP confirms the Québec Government’s ongoing commitment to transportation electrification. It reflects Québec’s strengths and assets in this area and outlines a clear vision: “In 2020, Québec, which owns clean energy available in large quantities and at a competitive cost, will be a leader in the use of electric-powered means of transportation and a forerunner in the realm of sustainable mobility.”

Québec is one of the world’s leading producers of clean energy, with over 99.5% of its electricity generation coming from renewable sources. In addition, with proven cutting-edge research expertise and a nimble and innovative transportation industry, Québec is leading the way in the field of transportation electrification in areas such as public transit, freight transportation and other niche markets, including specialized vehicles, recreational vehicles, and machinery.

With a budget of 420 million dollars over five years, the TEAP for 2015-2020 is positioned as a mobilizing, structuring and responsible plan for Québec. Approximately 60% of the plan’s budget envelope comes from the Fonds Vert (Green Fund), whose revenues flow mostly from the carbon market.

The action plan aims to achieve the following objectives and targets for 2020:

  • Reach 100,000 plug-in and hybrid vehicles registered in Québec;
  • Play an active and significant role in the fight against climate change, specifically by reducing the annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by transportation by 150,000 tonnes;
  • Decrease Québec’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve Québec’s balance of trade, by reducing the quantity of fuel consumed by 66 million litres annually;
  • Contribute directly to Québec’s economic growth by creating 2,000 jobs and generating 500,000 million dollars in an emerging industrial sector by leveraging Québec’s available clean energy resources.

A total of 35 measures are listed in the action plan. They relate specifically to encouraging the use of electric vehicles, the development of innovative solutions in freight transportation, increased efforts in research and development and support for the marketing and export of innovative Québec products.

The Roulez électrique program offers a rebate of up to $8,000 for the purchase of an electric vehicle. As of October 30, 2015, there were 7,727 electric vehicles registered in Québec, including 3,461 fully electric vehicles. This represents almost half of all electric vehicle sales in Canada.

The Branché au travail program offers financial assistance for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in the workplace. The subsidies can cover up to 75% of admissible expenditures, to a maximum of $5,000. The program aims to install 3,500 charging stations in business settings.

Québec now has over 750 public access charging stations to fulfill vehicle charging needs during longer trips. This includes Hydro-Québec’s Electric Circuit, the largest public network of electric vehicle charging stations in Canada. It offers 240V and 400V charging options.

The Electric Circuit was launched in March 2012, and has grown steadily since its inception. Today, it has over 500 public charging stations, including 21 quick-charge stations, in 16 regions across Québec.

To this day, 125 private and institutional partners have joined the Electric Circuit, which now has over 6,000 members. Electric Circuit users have access to a 24-hour telephone assistance hotline operated by CAA-Québec, along with a charging station locating service. Both the Electric Circuit Website and the Electric Circuit mobile App for iOS and Android are updated each time a new charging station is added to the network. The Electric Circuit member card also provides access to all 150 VERnetwork charging stations located in Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia.  

Two major highway corridors are currently equipped with charging stations:  

  • Autoroute 40, between Montréal and Québec City: 6 charging facilities, 5 of which are equipped with quick-charge stations.
  • Montréal-Burlington-Montpellier (Vermont) corridor: 85 charging facilities, with 48 in Québec including two quick-charge stations and 37 in Vermont, including 6 quick-charge stations.

Québec has a strong land transportation industry encompassing 650 companies and 30,000 jobs. In the more specialized field of electric transportation, there are approximately 30 companies providing close to 3,000 jobs. Québec is also home to 30 research centres conducting work relating to electric vehicles, including the Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) and the Innovative Vehicle Institute (IVI), which offer leading-edge expertise in battery, engineering and technical solutions design relating to electric vehicles. 

By creating an environment conducive to the achievement of these ambitious objectives, the TEAP provides the tools required to fully develop Québec’s technological and economic potential, in addition to playing a lead role in the fight against climate change.

The Transportation Electrification Action Plan 2015-2020 is available at www.transportselectriques.gouv.qc.ca

For additional information, please contact the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) at infotransportselectriques@mtq.gouv.qc.ca.