[Le Nouvelliste] - Theron to launch production of electric quads in January

September 15, 2023

Martin Lafrnière

Translated by Theron

The idea of building an electric ATV originated in Trois-Rivières seven years ago, but the company was incubating in Shawinigan before returning to the regional capital, because they found the 20,000-square-foot space in the Lupel District to start production. This pilot plant located in the Cap-de-la-Madeleine sector has the capacity to manufacture 2,500 quads per year. Chairman and CEO of the company, which has a dozen employees, Bastien Theron is convinced that many of his electric quads will find a buyer over the next year.

A first year of production is a pivotal year, but we will produce as much as we can. And we will sell several hundred.

-Bastien Theron

The Reever is a utility quad designed mainly with parts from Quebec, which ensures product quality. It’s built to be robust, so it can do different things, whether it’s towing or off-road rescue.

«It is not a recreational vehicle. It is a commercial vehicle with which we can have fun», mentioned M. Theron.

Philippe Lafontaine, Director of Operations, says that Theron’s electric quad is generating a lot of interest in North America, but also in Central America, Europe and Africa.

«The vehicle is designed for the North American market. It is tested in the harshest conditions. As a market, we are also targeting the army, national parks, maintenance services such as Melville Island Park, Saint-Quentin Island Park. There is good potential with the Sûreté du Québec.»

It may be robust and offer a range of 180 km per recharge, but the Reever must be sold at a competitive price. And according to Mr. Lafontaine, this is the case with a basic model at $17,500, especially with its electricity costs estimated at $35 per year.

«Since COVID, gas vehicle prices have risen significantly. We are in the slightly higher average of a gas vehicle.»

«There is no maintenance cost, no fuel cost,' adds Mr Theron. "And it’s a sustainable vehicle: batteries are made to last 100,000 km.»

Guillaume Parenteau, Vice President of Development at the Energy Transition Valley, obviously welcomes the arrival of this company.

An area of innovation brings together the sectors of industry, entrepreneurship, knowledge and the living environment to create innovation. Clearly, Theron fits into all of these objectives. And the manufacturing side of technology is extremely important. When you take ownership of the manufacturing of an industrial process, you take ownership of all the knowledge around it,' says Mr. Parenteau, slipping by as other projects are on the table.

A larger plant in the medium term

The pilot plant will undoubtedly be followed by a larger production plant in the medium term, says Bastien Theron. The pilot plant could be expanded within the District Lupel facilities. Theron EV could choose to settle elsewhere and does not exclude a return to Shawinigan for this stage of development. But what is certain is that the company will remain in Mauricie.

«It's the best spot. We're central. There's no Montreal traffic. There's no Quebec City traffic. We have access to the port, to the train. We're residents of the Mauricie region. We have a good synergy with the labor pool, particularly with UQTR for innovation-development and marketing-commercialization.», says Mr Theron.

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