[Radio-Canada] - Electric all-terrain vehicles soon to be manufactured in Trois-Rivières

September 15, 2023

Louis Cloutier

Translated by Theron

Mauricie is making another contribution to the electrification of transport. Young entrepreneurs are putting the finishing touches to a fully electric all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Developed in Shawinigan, it will be manufactured in Trois-Rivières. The first units should be delivered next year.

Mechanical engineering graduates from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) have been designing the Reever since 2016 with all-Quebec components except for the batteries.

There are three wheel motors in the four-wheel drive version, two motors at the front that independently drive the two front wheels, and one motor that drives the rear wheels. It's a vehicle capable of up to 180 kilometers of autonomy. So, to put things in perspective, on average a large gasoline-powered vehicle will do 160 kilometers," compares Theron EV CEO Bastin Theron.

The electric ATV may be a recreational vehicle, but it was first and foremost conceived as a utility vehicle, notably for Hydro-Québec, the army and park services. Production will start at the former Cascades Lupel plant in Trois-Rivières, but will eventually move to Shawinigan, where the project was originally launched.

This is really a market where our vehicle, a multi-purpose utility vehicle, is capable of serving well, especially in very rugged territory.

- Philippe Lafontaine, Theron EV Operations Manager

Philippe Lafontaine is Operations Director at Theron.

As for the price, we're talking about $17,500. The selling point is that this price is equal to or only slightly higher than that of a top-of-the-range gas-powered ATV.

Minister Sonia Lebel, an avid forest-goer, owns an old conventional ATV, but agrees that we need to go with the flow, because the electrification of transport also involves off-road vehicles. I think it's important to push the envelope when it comes to recreational vehicles. We'll see how far we can go in terms of autonomy and adaptability," adds the MNA for Champlain and Chair of the Conseil du trésor.

Steps are currently being taken to secure public funding for Le Reever's production.

Many dignitaries attended the unveiling of the Reever, including Champlain MNA and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Sonia Lebel.

The development of this ATV adds to the Mauricie region's significant contribution to the electrification of battery-powered transportation: snowmobiles, personal watercraft, farm tractors and the conversion of gasoline-powered vehicles. At the end of the month, all these innovations will be on display in downtown Ottawa.

Daniel Breton, CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, explains that we've reserved the entire Sparks Street in Ottawa for a kind of demonstration of electric vehicles of all sizes, from buses to trucks, cars and the Theron ATV. We want people in Ottawa to see Quebec's expertise and ingenuity, and I think that's extremely promising.

When it comes to recharging in the woods, there's no alternative to the generator or solar panels on the chalet.

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