Business models that should come to Toronto – II

The concept:

Small city electric cars get free charging in certain locations.

Why it works:

It’s free!

There are a few different models of electric car in London, the most popular being the G-wiz.  They start at GBP8,500/C$12,000, go 120km on a charge, seat 2, crank out 17 horsepower and have a top speed of 80kph.  They’re free to charge and cheaper to park and insure.  Use is restricted to roads under 40mph (ie, most of London).

Toronto examples:

None.  While Toronto has an electric car company, use of these cars is prohibited in Ontario.  Risk management types at the MTO and Insurance Bureau of Canada don’t like they idea of a car that conforms to a lesser standard of safety than full size cars due (I think) to liability concerns.  Cars are pretty safe these days.  While a G-Wiz is less safe than a Cadillac Eldorado, I bet it’s better in a crash test than a scooter or bicycle, and restricting use to roads under 80kph could mitigate safety issues anyway.

I think a car like this would work well as a second car for those in the inner-to-mid suburbs.  Also, many of the people who have a second (or third) car just to commute between their plywood-n’-marble Oakville home and the GO station could be well served by something like this.  Caveat: I bet the heating/AC system isn’t up to Canadian standards.


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