London

Electric shuttle service based in London wants to expand, fast

A London based all-electric airport shuttle service is set to expand across Canada by the fall.
Yusuf Gayar won't ride public transit again. He's hopped on the electric car bandwagon. A London-based company is rolling out its all-electric luxury ride sharing service from anywhere in the city to London International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport and area. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

A London based all-electric transit company is set to expand across Canada by the fall.

E1 Transit picks up passengers in $150,000 blue electric Teslas from anywhere in the city to London International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport and area.

The company soft launched with two cars a year ago, and plans on adding an additional 10 by September. By then, E1 Transit is set to add a new route running from London to Windsor and Detroit.

Next year, west-coast passengers can also hop on board.

"We want to connect people going between cities across Canada. That's our primary focus," said E1 Transit CEO Christopher Misch.

Misch said passengers can expect trips from Calgary to Banff in six weeks and Vancouver area to Whistler in the fall. 

In three years, Misch wants to see blue Teslas in every major Canadian city.

The $70 average trip price includes food, drinks, free WiFi – and pillows.

People sign up online with other passengers looking to share the same route.

Janice Howell just bought an electric car. She's calling on a greener London. E1 Transit is rolling out its all-electric luxury ride sharing service from anywhere in the city to London International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport and area. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

City-wide competition 

Misch said E1 Transit has partnered with Green Taxi, a London cab company, to share customers when needed.

He said the ride-sharing program doesn't see itself as a competitor in the London taxi industry but a futuristic service provider.

Misch said E1 Transit offers similar pricing to other shuttle services in the city.

"Like literally for the same price as taking a Robert Q or a VIA train, you could be riding a Tesla… unreal," he said.

Robert Q and VIA were unavailable for comment.

E1 transit picks up passengers in $150,000 blue electric Teslas and makes trips from London to Toronto for about $70 including food, drinks, free wifi – and pillows. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

City sees rise in electric chargers

"Most people have no idea what the electric car is all about. The big question that comes up is range anxiety."

Bob Porter, president of the London Electric Vehicle Association, said most electric cars can go 170 kilometres without charging — with larger cars capable of going up to 400 kilometres.

Porter holds monthly public education meetings to inform Londoners on emission-free cars, including the accessibility of charging stations in the city.

London has about 15 charger stations at public locations such as banks and malls.

An Ontario grant program is adding more than 20 stations in three London locations, including Victoria Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital.

The province is working to add stations along highways to encourage drivers to plan longer trips with more confidence. The Ontario government missed its self-imposed March 31 deadline to install charging stations on Ontario highways and public spaces, however, plans are still underway.

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