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Ontario is joining forces with a world-leading company that creates innovative infrastructure for electric cars — a necessary step in getting electric cars running on Ontario’s roads and highways. 

California-based Better Place will establish a Canadian head-office in Ontario. They will build an electric car demonstration and education centre in Toronto to lay the groundwork to help get electric vehicles running on Ontario roads. By May 2009, the Ontario government will release a study which will look at ways to speed up the introduction of electric vehicles including: 

• Financial incentives designed to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles 

• Preferred access to transportation grid to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles 

• Forward looking procurement policies to speed government adoption of electric vehicles into fleet services where appropriate 

• Coordinated public education and promotion of electric vehicles as a mode of personal transportation. 

At the same time, Better Place will develop an electric car charging network rollout plan and timelines. 

“I want to thank Better Place for their vision, and welcome them to Ontario. We have a workforce second to none and matched with this innovative business, we could provide a real opportunity for jobs and economic growth in the future,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty. 

“Today’s announcement shows how Ontario is using its portfolio of strategic investment tools to attract global visionaries to our province. It’s about keeping Ontario ahead of the curve in a knowledge and technology-based economy,” said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of International Trade and Investment. 

“With its forward-looking leadership, Ontario is taking a major step toward sustainable transportation and setting a visible example for the world. As a major auto producer with significant manufacturing expertise and facilities, Ontario stands to benefit from the inevitable and accelerating shift to electric cars. Transition to the Car 2.0 model of electric vehicles powered by renewable energy presents an historic opportunity for Ontario and Canada to help lead the world in economic growth and environmental recovery for the next century,” said Shai Agassi, Better Place Founder and CEO. 

For every 10,000 electric vehicles on the road, Better Place estimates that Ontario will offset more than 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Under the Better Place model, electric car drivers enrol in a subscription plan to use the company’s open network of battery exchange stations and charge spots in homes, businesses and parking lots. 

Canada-based Bullfrog Power will provide the Better Place network with electricity from local renewable sources to avoid shifting emissions from tailpipe to smokestack and support Ontario’s commitment to end the use of coal-fired generation by 2014.

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