A new four year plug-in hybrid test program is kicking off this spring in Quebec City, Quebec with involvement from battery supplier EnerSys, financial cooperative Desjardins and Laval University. EnerSys is a supplier of industrial batteries and its subsidiary ModEnergy will be supplying lithium ion packs to Laval researchers. The team will work to optimize the performance and durability of packs when installed in vehicles. Ultimately, if the initial phase of the project is successful, between 10 and 50 privately-owned plug-in hybrids will be put into service. The participants will evaluate the performance and efficiency as well as the financial aspects of operating plug-in hybrids. This will be a very interesting study to watch over the next few years because it may tell a lot about the real viability of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles in cold climates. My own personal experience with hybrids in cold temperatures has been less than exceptional. Quebec City in the winter is one of the coldest major cities in North America.