[L'Hebdo du St-Maurice] - A first 100% electric ATV developed in Shawinigan

July 18, 2021

Bernard Lepage

Translated by Theron

Available in two versions (45 and 70 Forces), the Reever is the first model launched by Theron, a company founded by Bastien Theron, Philippe Lafontaine and Michael Jomphe and also incubated at CEADS.

Currently on the market, there are electric mini-quads for children but no electrified ATV capable of competing with the Polaris and BRP motorized fleet of this world. “There is nothing available for enthusiasts who want to walk in the woods while respecting the environment,” says Bastien Theron, general manager of the new manufacturer. “And then we see more and more trails closing due to noise. We are coming to provide a solution to this problem,” he continues.

Up to 120 km/h

The Reever has a range of 90 kilometers for its 45 Forces version and 180 kilometers for the 70 Forces, while being able to reach a speed of 120 km/h. “To compare, the Can-Am Renegade 800 is equipped with a 78 Forces engine but these conventional ATVs have a continuously variable transmission which means that the power going to the wheels is reduced by about half. Our electric mountain bike has no transmission and the power is therefore completely released to the wheels of the vehicle,” underlines Philippe Lafontaine, native of Nicolet.

For this year, the vehicle will be powered by two-wheel drive but a 4 x 4 version will be available next year. “With UQTR, we are also working on a trailer which will be equipped with two electric motors on the wheels which will be powered by the ATV battery. With this rear traction, even the 2-wheel drive version of the Reever could handle itself on any terrain,” estimates Bastien Theron, an engineer of French origin who has been living in Quebec for more than twelve years.

Describing their mountain bike as versatile, that is to say combining the qualities of utility and sport, the inventors of the Reever plan to manufacture ten in 2021 and 300 in 2022. Equipped with a power outlet at the rear , it can also be transformed into a generator by powering tools for workers. “This year we are starting to attack the business and farmer market but we are targeting individuals next year. We are going to give a demonstration to SEPAQ officials this week,” reveals Philippe Lafontaine.

Tesla's model

The Reever will retail for $15,000 in its 45 Forces version and $20,000 for the 78 Forces. “It’s about $1,500 more than the corresponding conventional MTB models,” emphasizes Bastien Theron. The new manufacturer will use the principle developed by Tesla to enter the market, that is to say without a dealer. “We will operate by order. By not having an intermediary between us and the customer, it allows us to maintain a reasonable price while ensuring better after-sales service for the new owner.”

Note that the company received financial assistance of $350,000 from the Center of Excellence in Energy Efficiency (C3E) to finance the development of its prototype. “It turned out to be essential funding,” notes Philippe Lafontaine. Theron plans to create between 15 and 20 jobs in 2022 when it increases its production capacity.

While BRP recently announced that it was working on the electrification of its range of vehicles and that Taiga Motors is also preparing to increase its production, incidentally in Shawinigan, Theron considers itself able to make its place. “BRP plans to arrive on the market in 2027 while Polaris will launch an electric side-by-side in 2022.  That gives us time to establish ourselves, because we are already ready,” underlines the general manager. “Taïga will play more in the fields of Can-Am and Polaris while we manufacture a versatile vehicle,” concludes the general manager.

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