BCIT teams with Toyota Canada to test new prius plug-in hybrid vehicle

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Source: GLOBE Foundation

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Toyota Canada Inc.(TCI) and several other partners across British Columbia to assist in Toyota's trial of the all-new Prius Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (Prius PHV).

Trials will begin shortly and continue through next winter with BCIT investigating the interaction between power grids and cars like the Prius PHV and how plugging in electric vehicles on a large scale will affect electrical grids.

Compared to traditional hybrids, the Prius PHV has the ability to recharge its newly developed lithium-ion battery from the electrical grid and travel longer distances and at faster speeds on electric-power alone.

 'We're encouraged to be joined by partners from across the stakeholder spectrum, to ensure a successful introduction of plug-in vehicles to Canada,' noted Stephen Beatty, managing director of TCI. 'Each province that is a part of this national trial has already shown great vision in planning for plug-in vehicles.'

BCIT is constructing Canada's first campus-based Smart Microgrid on its Burnaby Campus which will provide an ideal environment for plug-in vehicle testing.

'The partnership with Toyota Canada will provide us with an invaluable opportunity to work with an industry leader in electric vehicle design and innovation,' says Hassan Farhangi, director of BCIT's Group for Advanced Information Technology.

'Together with Toyota and our other partners, we will construct the required systems and tools to investigate the way this vehicle interacts with the power grid. Our goal is to help B.C. prepare for the large scale roll-out of electric vehicles.'

Based on the world's most popular hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius PHV is designed to deliver a range of more than 20 KM and top speed of almost 100 KPH on battery alone.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is working with 13 partners on the first phase of this national trial, including academics, provincial government departments, municipalities and provincial power authorities. Partnerships in four provinces - British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec - make this the first Canadian trial of advanced technology vehicles.

TCI will provide each province with a Prius PHV to conduct their local test program, and a fifth Prius PHV will remain with TCI for its own technical and marketing tests. Trials will begin shortly and continue through next winter to assess Prius PHV performance under a range of driving and climate conditions.

Each test vehicle will be fitted with a telematics device to capture performance data, and partners are encouraged to drive their Prius PHV in as many road, traffic and weather conditions as possible.

Based on the world's most popular hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius PHV is designed to deliver a range of more than 20 KM and top speed of almost 100 KPH on battery alone. In addition, a small onboard Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine enables the vehicle to revert to hybrid mode and operate like a regular Prius - giving the vehicle the driving range and performance Canadians demand from today's automobiles.

'We're pleased that Canada has been selected as one of the participating countries for Toyota's global test of the Prius PHV. This enables us to conduct technical and market acceptance tests unique to Canada's driving experiences and climatic conditions,' Ms. Di Felice concluded.

'Moreover, feedback from the Canadian tests will help ensure the Prius PHV performs well in any country where drivers encounter cold temperatures, ice and snow.'

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