Canada's First Shared Electric Vehicle Network

electric vehicle in a car sharing program
Canada’s first electric vehicle in a car sharing program launched today at Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Toronto store as part of the AutoShare network.
(cc) AutoShare

AutoShare is launching its Plug-in Electric Vehicle program, introducing half a dozen full electric, extended range and plug-in hybrids to its fleet in 2011. As a company committed to innovation and sustainable transportation, AutoShare is the first car sharing company in Canada to add 100% electric vehicles to its fleet. The company has been working with a number of companies to install a network of charging stations for this project in Toronto, including Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Toronto Hydro, Brookfield Place, King and John Festival Corporation, and Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s FleetWise EV300 initiative.

The first shared charging station is located downtown at MEC’s King and Spadina location, which launches today with the Mitsubishi iMiev. “We couldn’t be more excited than to officially launch Canada’s first shared electric car plug-in right at Toronto’s flagship MEC store,” says Sean McSweeney, Toronto Store Manager, MEC. “AutoShare and MEC have always held similar community and sustainability values and share the same approach to environmental stewardship. We look forward to continuing our work with AutoShare on this and other initiatives.”

The rest of the shared plug-in stations and vehicles will take their places on the grid throughout 2011 at locations including Bell Lightbox, Brookfield Place, Evergreen Brick Works, and other locations to be announced. “This is the first step in letting Torontonians experience the future of the personal mobility,” said Kevin McLaughlin, President of AutoShare. “These partnerships will provide the infrastructure to support the next generation of car sharing, using electric vehicles and green energy to further reduce carbon emissions.”

“While our biggest environmental impact comes from getting people to stop owning a car – not by improving the efficiency of our shared fleet – we are proud to be pioneering plug-in electric vehicles for our city, and industry. These partnerships, and these types of initiatives, lay the groundwork for the next generation of car sharing, using electric vehicles and green energy to further reduce carbon emissions,” adds McLaughlin. All AutoShare Electric Vehicles will be Bullfrog powered, using only green electricity from regionally sourced wind and hydro projects. “AutoShare continues to be a local leader in reducing fleet-based emissions,” said Ben Marans, Manager of Social Innovation & Transportation for the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. “They were part of our first plug-in hybrid pilot four years ago and they are still educating their clients and the community-at-large on the environmental and economic benefits of low-emission electric vehicles.”

Founded in Toronto in 1998, AutoShare has been recognized for pioneering many milestones in the Canada’s car sharing industry, such as the first shared plug-in hybrid vehicle in Canada (2007). Today, the company prides itself for having the greenest fleet in the GTA, with the highest percentage of hybrids, lowest average fuel consumption and a real commitment to being part of the transit-system. With vehicles at over 100 locations across the city, AutoShare’s 10,000 members can choose from a variety of vehicles starting at $8/hr including gas and insurance. AutoShare is 100% locally owned, and believes that the car of the future will be shared.

Read Electric Vehicle Technology Explained from Amazon.