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New partnership will drive electric vehicle research

Monday, January 21, 2013

WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, Jan. 21, 2013) - Research into green transportation in Ontario just got a boost, thanks to a new partnership that lets researchers and drivers see how well electric vehicles perform.

The new collaboration, called Drive4Data, is the first of its kind in Canada and involves the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) at the University of Waterloo and FleetWise EV300, an initiative of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF).

The project involves collecting data from the owners of electric vehicles who agree to have a small wireless device about the size of a cell phone installed in their car. The Waterloo company CrossChasm, a technology partner in this initiative, created the device. It collects key statistics, such as mileage, battery charging and energy use, and then relays it to WISE. This real-world data could help advance research into everything from battery technology to smart grid management.

"Just by logging into a website, drivers can access detailed reports on their vehicle’s performance," said Tracey Forrest, director of WISE. "They can track the distance they've travelled, improve their charging schedule, monitor their fuel and electricity usage and benchmark their performance against similar vehicles."

Thanks to the TAF partnership, WISE researchers can now access data from 70 fleet-based electric vehicles through FleetWise EV300 — a non-profit program that is working with fleet managers in the public and private sectors make the shift to electric vehicles.

“The better we understand electric vehicle performance, the better we can determine the true business and environmental case for ownership with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ben Marans, manager of social innovation & transportation for TAF. “Collaborating with WISE fits perfectly with our goal of encouraging electric vehicle use throughout the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.”

Drive4Data is generously supported by Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro, Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, Waterloo North Hydro and the Region of Waterloo.

"These forward-looking funders understand that electric vehicles are the way of the future," said Forrest. "With their help, we’re accelerating transportation innovation."

The following dealerships are authorized to install the Drive4Data devices: Forbes Waterloo Toyota, K-W Mitsubishi, Parkway Ford Lincoln, Schlueter Chevrolet, Waterloo Nissan, and Waterloo Honda. Electric vehicle owners can get more information about Drive4Data and sign up for the program at

About the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE)

WISE is a recognized leader in promoting innovation through research into advanced sustainable energy systems. The multidisciplinary institute brings together more than 90 faculty members from across the University of Waterloo to undertake leading-edge research with utilities, government agencies and private-sector partners.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, visit

About the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF)

TAF is an agency of the City of Toronto dedicated to incubating and supporting innovative programs with the potential to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. With transportation fuels accounting for more than a third of all emissions, TAF developed the FleetWise program to help accelerate low-carbon transportation solutions. For more information about TAF’s work, please visit or

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Media contact:

Pamela Smyth

Media Relations Officer

Communications & Public Affairs

University of Waterloo


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