Canada's biggest city is starting a program to evaluate the performance and benefits of plug-in hybrids. The city of Toronto will fund a pilot project through the Toronto Atmospheric Fund starting with ten current hybrid vehicles that will be provided by organizations and companies around the city such as car sharing service AutoShare, York University and Toronto Hydro.

The first ten cars will be retrofitted by HyMotion which was recently purchased by A123 Systems using lithium ion battery packs. Students from the University of Toronto will be monitoring the program over the first year, measuring fuel consumption and emissions to evaluate the performance. They are expecting net CO2 emissions reductions of forty percent, a number that may rise to sixty percent when the rest of Ontario's coal-fired power plants are retired. They will also be evaluating vehicle-to-grid technology and comparing results of the whole program to those in other cities. If things work out and they can get the funding, the program could be expanded to 200 vehicles next year.

[Source: Toronto Star]

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