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EV Plug-In: Propulsion Québec unveils 2030 industry roadmap

Propulsion Québec, a cluster for electric and smart transportation, recently announced Ambition E...

LOGO: Propulsion Quebec logoPropulsion Québec, a cluster for electric and smart transportation, recently announced Ambition EST 2030, a roadmap for the industry developed with Deloitte.

Developed with over 200 collaborators, the aim is to make the province a leader in the industry in the next eight years. There are 225 initiatives broken down into eight themes:

Theme 1 — Develop a world-class talent pool.
Theme 2 – Stimulate the development of innovations with strong commercial potential.
Theme 3 – Lead the EV transition effort in North America.
Theme 4 – Accelerate infrastructure deployment.
Theme 5 – Foster collaborative and secure data management.
Theme 6 – Boost simulation, experimentation and testing capabilities to become a global leader.
Theme 7 – Facilitate access to capital and funding opportunities.
Theme 8 – Leverage the battery industry to support (industry) growth.

The group was created in 2017 and has over 260 members. It receives funding from the provincial and federal governments as well as Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, ATTRIX, Desjardins Group, Hydro-Québec and Québecor, among others.

Propulsion also has $2.2 million in new funding from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, to be used for two new initiatives: Transition+, and Defence and Security (D&S).

The first is a program to mentor small and medium-sized enterprises looking to transition to the electric and smart vehicle market. Businesses will receive a comprehensive assessment of their services and help to develop marketing and funding plans.

Those eligible could receive up to $58,100 in non-repayable support.

D&S is focused on “developing the defence and security of the market,” helping to identify any roadblocks that may exist for public procurement projects in the industry.

Natural Resources Canada, through its Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP), provided $4 million to Propulsion for the Recharge+ program, for the installation of up to 680 Level 2 charging stations in Quebec. Eligible businesses could receive anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.

These chargers will be installed in public places, multi-unit residential buildings, on streets, at workplaces or at facilities for servicing light-duty vehicle fleets by March 31, 2024.

“By partnering with Propulsion Québec, we’re positioning ourselves to offer the best possible support to our members during the shift to (electric and smart technologies). In fact, we’ve already installed over 300 EV charging stations in parking lots at caisses and corporate buildings across Quebec and Ontario,” said Mathieu Talbot, Desjardins’ vice-president of business and corporate banking, in a statement.

Quebec electric mining vehicle test begins

A nine-month electric vehicle test phase has begun at the Nouveau Monde graphite mine in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Que. First announced in November, 2020, it involves developing a new electric propulsion system and a 1 MW fast charging infrastructure suitable for heavy vehicles in the open-pit mining industry.

The project will test a 40-tonne Western Star 6900XD truck “in various operating contexts related to mining industry needs,” according to a release.

The engine and other components have been electrified, with a goal to refine the technology for commercialization and adapt it for other kinds of heavy vehicles.

Funding for the project came via $2 million from Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Growth Program and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation’s Innov-R program. Propulsion Quebec is also involved.

FLO, Hydro-Québec to install 7,500 chargers

EV charging network operator FLO is teaming up with Hydro-Québec to install 7,500 Level 2 chargers between 2022 and 2026.

FLO, a subsidiary of AddEnergie Technologies Inc., has been collaborating with Hydro-Québec since 2013. It has awarded six calls for proposals to FLO. The company has, in turn, supplied Hydro-Québec with approximately 4,500 EV chargers across Quebec, split between approximately 3,800 Level 2 chargers and 700 Level 3 DC chargers.

Of the new Level 2 chargers FLO will supply, 3,000 will be public curbside chargers, 2,000 will be for Hydro-Québec’s fleet, and 2,500 for other uses such as in businesses and municipalities.

FLO also recently partnered with Pollution Probe — with funding from ZEVIP — to  support between 500 and 600 new charging sites across the country to be installed by March 31, 2023. According to Pollution Probe, its involvement with FLO has helped install over one per cent of all public charging stations in the country during the first three months of the year.

Electric shuttle buses coming to Billy Bishop airport

Nieuport Aviation and shuttle bus service provider TOK Group have ordered six Vicinity Lightning electric buses for $3 million to replace the diesel fleet currently connecting Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Union Station.

The buses will begin delivery in the first quarter of 2023. At the peak of the airport’s operations in 2019, more than 500,000 people used the shuttle bus service. Billy Bishop offers service to over 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., handling about 2.8 million passengers each year.

“The downtown Toronto shuttle service is an excellent opportunity for the Vicinity Lightning EV buses, due to its right-size, versatility, AODA compliance and accessibility and comfortable ride, powered by an all-electric propulsion system designed with maximum efficiency in mind,” said William Trainer, founder and CEO of Vicinity Motor Corp., in a statement.

Vicinity Motor Corp.’s (VMC-X) bus offers peak power of 295 HP or 200 KW, and with DC fast charging is capable of charging completely in 90 minutes.

Almost half of Canadians plan to buy EVs: EY

The 2022 EY Mobility Consumer Index shows 46 per cent of respondents planning to buy a car say will choose an EV, up 11 per cent from 2021.

The index compiled over 13,000 responses from 18 countries, conducted in March of this year. One thousand people were surveyed in Canada.

Respondents in B.C. and Quebec expressed the most interest in purchasing an EV at 54 and 51 per cent, respectively, while the Prairies demonstrated the least with 25 per cent interest.

Upfront costs around EV purchases are still the largest consumer concern at 38 per cent, although it’s down significantly from 66 per cent the year in 2021.

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