By Sarah Klein
A low-speed, electric utility vehicle will soon be roaming the campus of the University of Winnipeg after a new partnership between the university and the province was announced on Wednesday.
The U of W will test the vehicle for limited access to local streets and other vehicle and pedestrian traffic corridors. The unique vehicle has a top speed of 40 km/h, but does not meet Canadian motor vehicle safety standards, so testing must be done in a controlled setting.
Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak says the province is looking at regulations governing the use of such low-speed vehicles and the university setting provides the opportunity to demonstrate the vehicle’s use in a safe manner.
Besides the U of W partnership, the Manitoba government is also testing five plug-in hybrid Toyota Priuses.
In addition, there are 110 other hybrid vehicles in the fleet of vehicles the province owns and operates, compared to just 11 in 2005. These hybrid vehicles use a gas engine assisted by an electric motor.