Minister of Transportation's Letter to Azure Dynamics Corporation
Chair, Electric Mobility Canada
Azure Dynamics Corporation
Unit 6 & 7 4020A Sladeview Crescent Mississauga, ON
Dear Mr. Elwood:
Ontario is a strong supporter of initiatives that expand mobility options for Ontarians, improve air quality and promote green technologies. Our province has welcomed the safe use of green transportation technologies by allowing new electric vehicles in Ontario, including Segways, low-speed vehicles and electric bicycles, with pilot projects that began in fall 2006. As well, electric cars that meet federal passenger vehicle standards are allowed on Ontario's roads today.
Of course, ensuring the safety of all our province's road users must always be my number one priority. For more than a decade, Ontario's roads have been among the safest in North America. In fact, our research shows that in 2005, Ontario's road fatality rate was the lowest ever recorded in this province and lower than any province or state.
The way we set the rules of the road has helped us achieve the degree of road safety Ontarians know and enjoy today.
Low-speed electric vehicles, known as LSVs, are entering the market as an environmentally friendly transportation option. They are intended, and federally certified, for use in controlled environments such as gated communities, college campuses and parks, where there is limited interaction with other vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks and buses. LSVs are only
required to meet three federally-mandated vehicle safety standards, not the 40 vehicle standards that passenger cars are required to meet.
As you know, Ontario would like to get these environmentally friendly vehicles safely on our public roads. We asked the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to advise us on how we can do that. I am pleased to inform you that the results of the NRC study point the way forward to that goal.
The NRC report recommends a number of safety requirements to keep LSV drivers and passengers safe. The report also makes a number of other recommendations, such as restricting operation of these vehicles to roads with speed limits of 50 kilometres per hour or less.
In the next few months, my ministry will be analyzing the NRC study and consulting with stakeholders such as Electric Mobility Canada to formulate safety feature requirements and rules of the road for LSVs on public roads. We intend to hold a workshop where manufacturers, municipalities, safety experts and other stakeholders can discuss these matters before regulations are written.
I am also pleased to inform you that Ontario intends to allow all federally compliant LSVs to operate in controlled environments. A regulation authorizing such use will be forthcoming this winter.
Vehicles that are both environmentally friendly and safely designed are the kind of vehicles we want in Ontario.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter and please accept my best wishes.