A Laval wants to compete with Tesla

News 20 July, 2017
  • Anne Caroline Desplanques

    Thursday, 20 July 2017 06:30

    Thursday, 20 July 2017 06:30

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    The first delivery trucks fully electric made in Quebec will be running along very soon to Canada, and the laval company behind these vehicles wants nothing less than to compete with Tesla.

    “We are working at this time with several operators the parcel. It expects to produce between 10 and 20 this year. For 2018, we will be ready to produce a volume of 800 vehicles, ” says proudly the inventor of the truck, Sylvain Castonguay, the founder of the company Nordresa.

    • See the chronicle In 5 Minutes : – electric Truck here

    Nordresa is for the moment alone in its niche : the delivery trucks light. But on the market of the electric truck, she plays in the big league.

    “At the level of the trucks, it is expected that there are significant breakthroughs in the field of the electric motor. It is important that Quebec is positioned to be at the forefront in this area “, says Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace.

    Mercedes-Benz and Renault

    Tesla will unveil a semi-trailer truck in September, and Mercedes-Benz revealed last year a prototype of a semi-trailer which will be ready for commercialization at the turn of 2020. In Europe, the French car manufacturer Renault is marketing its electric Maxity, a truck of small tonnage, since 2011 already.

    Photo Ben Pelosse

    The founder of the company, Sylvain Castonguay, wants to be able to produce 800 vehicles in 2018.

    As these giant aliens, the avowed objective of Mr. Castonguay is to build its own trucks from A to Z. But for the moment, his team uses the chassis of existing vehicles, the vacuum motor, and installs batteries imported from Korea and the propulsion system that it has developed.


    To start, the SME of Laval, is associated with Purolator who sold him a Ford truck E-350 to develop its prototype. But since its start in march 2015, the small company has since moved on and jumped to other clients large and small.

    The moving company bike Moving Myette has purchased an electric truck Nordresa. The trading house transatlantic PortFranc, who wishes to establish the first trade route without any oil between Europe and North America, also has the intention to acquire one of the devices by the fall.

    “Half of the vehicles on the roads of Montreal during the week are business and there was no offer power for them. It fills a void, ” says Mr. Castonguay in slippery that it will launch in January two other vehicle platforms for class 4 and 6.

    Bertrand Schepper, a researcher at the Institute of research and socioeconomic information (IRIS), welcomed the initiative. According to him, it should only be a beginning. “We could make the bet in Quebec to build all of our buses and our trains ourselves. We have the expertise for it “, lance-t-il.

    The government is still far from its objective

    Quebec wants to multiply by seven the number of electric vehicles on the road within three years, but does not give the means, warn environmentalists and automotive manufacturers.

    “The government’s forecasts are very jovialistes. The figures show that it is very far from the goal, ” notes Bertrand Schepper, a researcher in transportation at the Institute of research and socioeconomic information (IRIS).

    Not enough terminals

    The Association of electric vehicles Quebec (AVEQ) indicates that 14 390 electric vehicles are currently circulating on the roads of the province. However, the government believes that there will be 100 000 in 2020, thanks to its incentive policy (act 104).

    For the Corporation automobile dealers Quebec (CQAF), the targets are clearly unattainable within the time limits provided “. The dealers are nervous, because the law 104 impose quotas for the sale of electric vehicles under threat of having to pay royalties to the State.

    For global Manufacturers of automobiles in Canada, “Quebec cannot achieve these goals without accelerating dramatically as the investment that the deployment of the charging infrastructure for the VZE (zero emission vehicles),” said the president of the organization David Adams.

    According to the AVEQ, the network of charging stations is already problematic.

    “Our members are in queue for charging stations,” says Simon-Pierre Rioux, president of the association.

    In its analysis of the costs and benefits of its policy recently published, Quebec believes his side by forcing the dealers to increase the supply of electric vehicles, consumer demand will increase and will create a market for the manufacturing, marketing and installation of charging stations.


    “I don’t think that forcing dealers to take a percentage of sales of electric vehicles really changes things,” says Schepper. It is a change of culture that it takes, therefore, a cocktail of measures. “

    For Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Quebec should adopt a system of bonus-malus, that is to say discounts to those who ride green, and a surcharge for the polluters.

    The eco-friendly automobiles not so green

    While the environmentalists and the government extolling the merits of ecological electric vehicles, the researchers contend the environmental qualities of this mode of transport.

    Well, as regards the discharge of CO2 and fine particles in the atmosphere, zero-emission vehicles are unbeatable, the picture is not so green when you consider the whole of their life cycle. Whether electric or gasoline, a vehicle remains a steel box, plastic resources and polluting of the extraction to the end-of-life.


    “Even if electric vehicles emit less greenhouse gas than the conventional automobile, the batteries used in these vehicles require a lot of lithium. Gold, like oil, lithium is a non-renewable and polluting, ” says Bertrand Shepper, a researcher at the IRIS.

    “The exploitation of this mineral contributes to the increase of the pollution of the air, to the drying up of the streams located near the mines, to the lowering of the water table and transformation of the ecosystems and agricultural land,” he adds.


    In France, the Environment Agency and the Control of energy calculates that the energy balance of an electric car does not equal that of a combustion vehicle that after 100,000 km, because the manufacture of the batteries requires a large amount of energy.

    Produce a kilowatt-hour of storage capacity would require the use of energy sources that release between 150 and 200 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, essentially for the extraction and processing of raw materials, indicates a study by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute.