Friday, October 26, 2007

who killed the Canadian electric car?

After seeing a report on the CBC's the National last night, I too am wondering who killed Canada's electric car? I looked up Zenn cars website (Zenn) and found more reports from CTV and earlier this month CBC's the Current contacted the CEO to discuss why the car isn't available here.

The report last night focused on transport Canada as being the one blame. The problem seems to be its speed. Because it is a low speed vehicle (LSV), predominantly intended for urban use where your speed doesn't exceed 50km/h, transport Canada's regulations are blocking the availability of this vehicle in Canada. I found this on transport Canada's site:
"We found that LSVs in their current configurations cannot be allowed
unrestricted use in all municipalities nor on all road systems, even urban
road systems. However, we believe that LSVs are vehicles that meet both
individual and community needs, can be safely driven in traffic and have
their place in urban communities."

So what's the hold up? If it does meet regulations, but then transport Canada says no it doesn't're reviewing it. What's going on?

Today while on the Zenn website I signed the petition to encourage all provinces to adopt legislation that would permit these electric cars on the roads. Seems like a simple step in our so-called growing environmentally minded world. We are supposed to be trying to reduce emissions are we not?


Karen said...

I heard about this recently on CBC radio and I was a bit shocked too that a Canadian made electric car isn't available here. However, there are many major roads here in Edmonton (Whitemud, Yellowhead, Anthony Henday, etc) where the "posted" speed limit is 70 or 80KM. We all know that means most people are usually going between 90-100 or faster. If the cars can sustain speeds like that for short periods of time (not major highway driving), I can see them being extremely viable here. If they can't, then I can see them posing a problem and possibly even a safety concern - how do you keep people from driving on those fast moving roads?

Did you ever see the doc "Who Killed the Electric Car"? If not, you really should. It's hard to believe that there was (in the US at least) an electric car that functioned as well or better than most fossil fuel powered cars. Where is it today? They were all repossesed and destroyed for no apparent reason...well, we can presume "Big Oil" wasn't happy.

PS: Thanks for the links to the websites you left me. I've had a quick look thanks to a translator site - very interesting. I'll have to spend some time going through them today.

sp said...

I understand that there are some roads with higher speed limits, but what about scooters/vespas? Some of those can't reach those speeds and yet there are no regulations against those vehicles being available.
I have seen Who Killed the Electric Car and it was great.

In the 90s when people asked why didn't I get a car? I always answered that I was waiting for electric ones to be available. There they were already being made. Of course not available here. Now, once again the States is Zenn's market. It's available in most of the states and throughout Europe.
I want one!

Wandering Coyote said...

Funny, I just read a post over at Milla's in which she put up a pic of an electic car she saw on a recent trip to Norway.

Typical that something the current government might logically seem to want to support, what with all their rhetoric about the environment being such a priority, that they'd tie something like this up in red tape.

Wandering Coyote said...

Mind you, I can understand that something that might not move much faster than a golf cart on an urban road might be a bit of a problem. Scooters can, well, scoot on the sides of roads and on sidewalks.