- Montreal has announced it will invest $3.6 million over two years in a new institute focused on developing electric and smart transportation, as reported by Forget the Box.
- The Institute of Electrification and Smart Transportation will aim to boost research and development of sustainable transportation, create international partnerships for projects and stimulate the commercialization of new technologies.
- The initiative stems from the Montreal Transportation Electrification Strategy, which has the stated goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% from 1990 levels by 2020.
Smart transportation — which is centered around the development of electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs) — is a cornerstone of any smart city. Outside the development of the actual vehicles, cities must look into the investments needed to adopt these vehicles into the everyday flow of transportation, which includes changes in infrastructure, risk plans and police trainings.
It also includes changing public transportation options, which is another element that the institute will focus on. Mayor Coderre's office has detailed a plan to exchange city vehicles for EVs, develop electric transit and encouraging a local industry for an electric and smart transportation sector.
The mayor noted that the institute will highlight Montreal as a "city of innovation," and also announced that the city is investing $24 million in Formula E, an international car race featuring only electric cars. $14 million of that investment is going into infrastructure like roadwork with the rest going to the nonprofit running the race. Montreal already has a Smart and Digital City Action Plan put in place in 2015. Public Wi-Fi, smart mobility, open data platforms and digital public services are just some of the 70 municipal projects.