The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and Plug'n Drive this week announced the 2016 winners of the Electric Vehicle Dealership Awards, a series of prizes that recognize national leadership in the promotion and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

“This year’s winners are making electric vehicles and information about them increasingly accessible,” said Cara Clairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit that promotes the environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles. While EVs are commonly associated with large cities, a couple of this year's four winners are located in smaller communities.

Rawdon, Quebec's Bourgeois Chevrolet received the Leading Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Dealership Award for its "active promotion of EVs through social media, and participation in community events, where they offer free test drives of cars like the Chevrolet Volt. A sales team trained to sell EVs and a significant EV marketing budget means electric vehicles make up 41 percent of the store's sales volume.

Green Rock E.V.S., located in the Mount Pearl neighbourhood of St. John's, Newfoundland is the province's only 100 percent electric vehicle dealer and service centre. It received the Electric Vehicle Dealership Inspiration Award for their participation in conferences and trade shows, as well as meetings to promote EVs and educate the public about their benefits. Its three employees sell and service pre-owned EVs, electric bikes and charging stations.

PowerStream, an electric utility company jointly owned by the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham, in Toronto's suburbs, is the winner of the first annual Tom Mitchell Electric Vehicle Leadership Award. The company was the first utility in North America to commission a vehicle-to-grid charging station, and have installed two Level 3 fast-charging stations that are available to the public.

Finally, Victoria, B.C.'s Campus Nissan wins this year's Leading Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Dealership Award. The store devotes 10 percent of its annual marketing budget to EVs, which has translated into EVs like the Nissan Leaf making up 11 percent of the dealership's sales. Campus Nissan also sponsors the Victoria EV Club, uses electric vehicle couriers for all local deliveries, runs a LEAF Day sponsorship of the local WHL (Western Hockey League) team and participates in numerous community events and trade shows.

In conjunction with the awards, Plug'n Drive hosted an EV Day at Queen's Park, the seat of Ontario's provincial government, in downtown Toronto, on September 26.

Plug'n Drive says there are currently 24,000 EVs on the road in Canada, and says electric vehicles will be key to helping Canada achieve its goal for reducing carbon pollution by 2050.