With the 29th World Electric Vehicle Symposium, held in Montréal, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard announced his intention to support the growth of an electric vehicle cluster in the Montréal region. This announcement is part of the Transportation Electrification Action Plan launched in 2015 to define this sector as a priority for Québec.
“Québec has all the elements required to develop an electric vehicle industry,” explains Premier Couillard. “These include healthy public finances to build investor confidence, a reliable source of energy in hydroelectricity, and made-in-Québec expertise developed in the province’s colleges, universities and research centres. As a result, we have assemblers, component manufacturers and system integrators specialized in electric transportation.” The Premier also pointed out that an electric vehicle cluster already exists in Montréal. The next phase will be to formalize it by involving not only the manufacturing sector but also educational institutions and major public contractors such as Hydro-Québec.
Unquestionably, Hydro-Québec is an important asset for the province. One of the world’s largest producers of hydroelectricity, the company is recognized for its extensive expertise in the production, storage, distribution and use of electricity. Through the Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ), one of North America’s largest research centres, the company has been making targeted investments for decades in the development of advanced materials for lithium-ion batteries used in all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Businesses interested in becoming part of Montréal’s electric vehicle cluster can also count on the support of Investissement Québec. “We are looking forward to meeting with companies seeking partners and funding for their projects,” notes Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and CEO of Investissement Québec. “Just as an example, in the margins of the last Davos summit, we signed an agreement with Peugeot-Citroën and Exagon Motors that should result in a global mandate for the manufacture of electric automobiles.”
The specialists who evaluate sites for Peugeot-Citroën have, in fact, designated Québec as the best location for establishing this project. Québec placed first because of the availability of resources (including aluminum, lithium and clean energy), the proximity of the U.S. market, the cutting-edge manufacturing expertise of our aerospace cluster and the technological expertise of Hydro-Québec and its TM4 division, which develops electric motors.
Measures to stimulate the electrification of transportation
Recall that in 2015, the Québec government launched a far-reaching plan to encourage electric transportation, develop the industrial component required for this economic sector and create an environment favourable to the transition from gas and diesel to electric vehicles. To this end, the outline for a bill to encourage the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles was recently announced, with a target of reaching 15.5% of the market by 2025.
The Electric Circuit—Québec’s largest public charging network—also supports the use of these vehicles by constantly adding new charging stations. In fact, a fast-charge corridor will soon be completed along one of the most travelled stretches of road in Québec: Highway 20 between Montréal and Québec.
Québec’s advantages in the area of advanced transportation