As part of an international initiative to fight climate change, Toronto is promising to purchase nearly 300 electric or plug-in hybrid cars over the next four years.

Mayor David Miller made the announcement from Copenhagen yesterday during a conference call with reporters in Toronto, saying 13 other major cities have also signed on including London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo and Sydney.

“It shows the scale of what cities can do, working together,” Miller said. “It will show the private sector that electric vehicles can be reliable.”

The city also wants to work with Toronto Hydro and the province to look at setting up charging stations throughout the city that could eventually be used by private car owners, Miller said.

The new city vehicles will be bought as older vehicles are taken out of service — with 40 next year, followed by 60 in 2011, 70 in 2012 and 120 in 2013.

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