Montreal mayor Denis Coderre has invited Phinergy, a Tel Aviv developer of ultra-high density aluminum-air energy systems, to help test the city’s proposed test corridor for electric vehicles, which will serve as a commercial showcase for allowing manufacturers to test new technologies in real-world conditions.
Coderre and Toronto mayor John Tory are participating in an economic mission to Israel and the West Bank from November 13 to 18, and will attend the Israel HLS & Cyber 2016 conference in Tel Aviv, along with a delegation made up of 120 business people, entrepreneurs and representatives of community organizations, including Hydro-Québec, Concordia University, Stephen Bronfman’s Claridge investment firm, Air Canada, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Tourisme Montréal and Cirque du Soleil.
“My role is to position Montréal as a leader in the field of electrification by creating a world-class facility to develop and experiment new electric and intelligent transportation and stationary uses,” said Coderre. “We must promote this environment, which is favourable to innovation and renewable and sustainable energies, to encourage foreign companies to invest in and develop their leading-edge technologies in the Montréal area.”
The Coderre-Tory delegation will visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva in Israel, and Ramallah and Bethlehem in the West Bank.
Montréal’s Transportation Electrification Strategy 2016-2020 outlines the city’s objectives to electrify the public transportation system, to build an industrial base for globalizing research and development of electric transportation and manufacturing initiatives, and to develop a legal and regulatory framework environment to build an electric transportation infrastructure.
The plan’s objectives include cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by 150,000 tons, reducing the amount of fuel used each year in Quebec by 66 million liters, adding 5,000 electric vehicle jobs and generating $500 million in investments, as well as increasing the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles registered in Québec to 100,000.
There were 1,468 electric vehicles registered in Montreal as of August 2016, according to the Quebec Association of Electric Vehicles.
“The Greater Montréal area offers many advantages to innovative foreign companies, including leadership in the fields of clean technologies and electric vehicles,” said Montréal International president and CEO Hubert Bolduc. “The support of Mayor Denis Coderre enables us to demonstrate Montréal’s commitment to create a positive environment capable of attracting new foreign investors and positioning Québec’s metropolis as a pole for innovation and creativity.”
Montreal announced last week the addition of 50 new charging stations across seven boroughs to its electric car charging network, which until now has been mostly concentrated in the downtown core, and is planned to expand to 1,000 stations by 2020.
Phinergy has a history in Montreal, having contributed an aluminum-air battery to a prototype car built by Alcoa Canada and demoed on the Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack in 2014.
Alcoa is one of the largest aluminum suppliers in the world, so a partnership for Phinergy, whose aluminum-air technology is designed to supplement existing lithium-ion batteries, makes sense.
As Phinergy CEO Aviv Tzidon said to Cantech Letter in 2014, “This was something that 20 years ago was nearly impossible to do in terms of budget and time. Today with factory prototyping, 3D printing, open thinking and other advantages, it is doable.”
Following the Montreal announcement this week, Tzidon said, “This will enable us to demonstrate our system’s performance in an urban setting and cold environment.”
A Free Trade Agreement was signed between Canada and Israel in 1997, with the value of trade between the two countries growing to $1.5 billion by 2014.