Ontario Looks Into Low-Speed Electric Vehicle Use
McGuinty Government Studying Green Transportation Option
Ontario is commissioning a study to help determine safety standards for low-speed vehicles and how these vehicles can be used safely on Ontario's roads.
Low-speed vehicles are four-wheeled vehicles powered by an electric motor. They produce no emissions and can reach a maximum speed between 32 and 40 kilometres per hour.
Ontario is currently testing low-speed vehicles in parks and conservation areas, but does not allow them on public roads because these vehicles do not meet federal passenger car safety standards or Highway Traffic Act equipment requirements. Intended for use in controlled environments such as parks or gated communities, low-speed vehicles only need to meet three federal safety standards, compared to the 40 that passenger cars are required to meet.
- In 2006 Ontario launched a five-year pilot to allow low-speed vehicles in provincial and municipal parks and conservation areas across the province.
- Ontario is committed to improving the quality of the air we breathe. Recently the province launched the Next Generation of Jobs Fund, which provides $1.15 billion to help innovative companies create well- paying, sustainable jobs, including those that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. This is in addition to investments of more than $1 billion that Ontario has made to encourage the manufacture of greener cars and other products.
- Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America, year-in, year- out. With 0.87 road fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers - a record low for this province - Ontario has a better road safety record than any other province or U.S. state.
- Electric passenger cars that meet all 40 federally-mandated passenger car safety and equipment standards are currently allowed on Ontario roads.
“We want low-speed electric vehicles on our roads, and we are looking at how it can be done safely. Additional safety features may be necessary, and this study will help us determine our next steps. I look forward to getting these results and to getting these vehicles on the road.”