[L'Hebdo du St-Maurice] - Theron to produce electric off-road vehicles in Trois-Rivières

September 19, 2023

Stéphane Laroche

Translated by Theron

Theron EV will shortly be launching production of its Reever electric vehicle in a 20,000 sq. ft. pilot plant adjacent to the Lupel District. Up to 2,500 units could be produced there, ready for delivery next spring.

The electric vehicle was first developed in Shawinigan, at the Centre d'excellence en efficacité énergétique," explains CEO and Technical Director Bastien Theron.

"The project started in 2016 in Trois-Rivières. We had our first investment to make our commercial technology showcase: we went to Shawinigan. They believed in us and were a great help at the time. We incubated in Shawinigan, and now we're accelerating in Trois-Rivières. This is our pilot plant, which will enable us to manufacture Reever.
With IDE (Innovation et Développement économique Trois-Rivières), we were welcomed with open arms," says Theron EV Operations Manager Philippe Lafontaine. We feel that the city is well positioned at the center of the Innovation Valley. We've forged strong links with UQTR. By coming here, we make it possible to have a laboratory, and we feel that there's a bridge for future supplies.

The Reever will offer a range of up to 180 kilometers with the 20 kWh battery. The vehicle with a 10 kWh battery, a little less expensive to buy, will offer a range of 90 kilometers.

"The vehicle's range is considerable," mentions Theron EV sales manager Justine Viviers. It's a lot more energy than someone needs in a normal day of mountain biking."

"And it's become a bit more of a family purchase than a male one, I'd say, points out Lafontaine. We have families who can have a vehicle to do all their chores and be recreational. Also, some companies are keen to install a 'politeness', for example a nature park where there are cottages or an outfitter who will establish silence, because they sell silence; people pay for calm."

"It's also about respecting nature," adds Viviers, "because we love nature, we respect the environment. Driving is pleasant and safe."

The Reever is virtually a 100% Quebec vehicle," says Mr. Theron.

"Most of our parts come from Quebec. The only reason to go outside Quebec is if the part doesn't exist here."

Mr. Lafontaine expects 70 employees to work at the Notre-Dame East plant when maximum production capacity is reached. "We're talking about 70 good jobs here, and this won't be the only company of its kind in Trois-Rivières," he says, explaining why the company decided to set up in the area. "We fell under the spell of the building's redevelopment, the cachet, the old brick and the green development projects that are going to take place here."

Mr. Theron makes no secret of his pride in establishing his plant in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Energy Transition Valley, in Trois-Rivières, between Shawinigan and Bécancour.

"We're not GM, we're not Ford, but we don't have the same needs. We can do a lot with a lot less. Theron is a real pioneer in the Energy Transition Valley, because we existed before that and we work in innovation and entrepreneurship. We work with collaborative research at UQTR and with the major clusters in the Mauricie region. We're the first to arrive and produce something. We're going to be the first to bring out a real product."

The Reever can be pre-ordered on the Theron EV website for delivery around spring 2024.

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