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MONTREAL (AFP) - Despite increasing local demand for zero-emissions cars and trucks and robust exports of electric vehicles, Canada will not allow them on its roads, lament manufacturers.
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"It's a daily embarrassment," said Ian Clifford, president of Zenn Motor Company, which builds "zero emissions no noise" vehicles in Canada for export primarily to the United States.

"Even my employees can't drive to work in a Zenn. It's absurd," he said of federal and provincial rules that forbid electric cars from being driven on most Canadian roads.

Clifford's frustration is aggravated by the view that Canadians are increasingly concerned about the environment and are said to be eager to drive electric vehicles in this warming climate.

"We build the car in St. Jerome (Quebec) and ship them all south of the border," where 44 states allow them, and some 45,000 electric cars are in use today, he said.

But Transport Canada says the vehicles made of lightweight metals and plastics are not safe to drive on Canada's open roads, and would not stand up in a collision.

The regulatory agency has so far certified only five models as road-worthy, including the Zenn, and two others that are no longer in production, said Transport Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette.

But most provinces, which have jurisdiction over the vast majority of roads and highways in the country, have balked at giving electric cars the green light, citing Transport Canada's safety concerns.

"We found Transport Canada to be very hostile towards low speed electric vehicles," echoed Danny Epp of Dynasty Electric Car in an email to AFP.

The Canadian company was recently sold to a Pakistani group which plans to move production to Karachi and continue exporting its vehicles to the United States.

According to reports, others allege political bias, noting Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government's base of support in oil-rich Alberta province.

To date, only westernmost British Columbia allows low speed electric vehicles on its urban roads.

This week, Quebec in eastern Canada announced a three-year pilot project that would permit starting in July the Zenn and an electric truck called Nemo on its roads with posted speed limits of 50 kilometers (31 miles) per hour.

Manufacturers are hoping Quebec's pilot may spur its neighbors to jump on the bandwagon and eventually make it possible to drive an electric car from coast to coast across all 10 of Canada's provinces.

"We hope it will lead to changes," said Jacques Rancourt, head of utility truck maker Nemo, based in Montreal. But the road promises to be uphill all the way, he said.

Despite their widespread use in the United States and strong sales, there are still technical improvements to be made, say experts, such as boosting the life of batteries used in electric vehicles to allow them to go further.

Hydro Quebec subsidiary TM4, which makes electric motors for the Cleanova electric car built by a subsidiary of France's Dassault auto group, is working on a new more powerful lithium-ion battery for use in electric vehicles.

According to Quebec's Transport Minister Julie Boulet, TM4 is also seeking to partner on the project with a large automaker, which she refused to name.

"The battery is really at the heart of the matter to get electric cars rolling," said Hydro Quebec spokesman Flavie Cote. "We all want exceptional performance from a battery that doesn't take long to recharge, at a low cost."




I find this funny
 

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stupid article.

the cars are not allowed on the roads because they do not meet the crash standards, not because they are electric. safty standards are put in place for a reason, and there shouldn't be exceptions for unsafe cars just because they are electric. if that was the case then the streets would have a lot more shitty electric cars like the G Wiz.
 

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[quote author=Oricle link=topic=115413.msg2410042#msg2410042 date=1214096621]
stupid article.

the cars are not allowed on the roads because they do not meet the crash standards, not because they are electric. safty standards are put in place for a reason, and there shouldn't be exceptions for unsafe cars just because they are electric. if that was the case then the streets would have a lot more shitty electric cars like the G Wiz.
[/quote]

agreed, they're making it look like its electric cars, but its the generic parts that makes them non street legal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
what makes them so unsafe? Are they smaller than smart cars, and just assembled by kids with no seat belts?
 

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they dont focus on safety when designing the car like a regular car manufacturer would. they have to make the cars as light as possible in order to get the wanted range and performance from the electric motors, and by doing so they cannot meet the safety regulations put in place by the gov.
 

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Ah so like plastic doors I can kick and hit the passenger inside. We should all just drive gokarts will full roll cages and 5 point harnesses.
 

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Bah, for canada just make it 4wd with big tires. Who needs a/c when your going 60 in full open air! Few summers ago when its 100 out riding a quad is quite refreshing, its the stop that kills u. Fuck I wish we could all ride gokarts. Youtube has some awesome vids of electric gokarts, makes me want one SO BAD. I wanna fab one up and have it street legal and drive it everywhere!
 

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[quote author=ITHURTZ link=topic=115413.msg2410162#msg2410162 date=1214100950]
Bah, for canada just make it 4wd with big tires. Who needs a/c when your going 60 in full open air! Few summers ago when its 100 out riding a quad is quite refreshing, its the stop that kills u. Fuck I wish we could all ride gokarts. Youtube has some awesome vids of electric gokarts, makes me want one SO BAD. I wanna fab one up and have it street legal and drive it everywhere!
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yeah traffic in the heat sucks. Thats the only time i use AC. Or on the highway when going +70mph, cause the wind is too much :p
 
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