A new type of innovative electric utility vehicle, made in Quebec, is proving to be a hit in Montreal with organizations like Purolator and the Ville de Montreal.
The Alma, Quebec-based Kargo manufactures several models of low-speed ultralight aluminum-made electric vehicles. The vehicles are intended primarily for the industrial, institutional and government sectors. Most low-speed vehicles (LSVs) can travel up to 40 km/h.
Purolator is working through a pilot project with Kargo to improve its urban logistics and reduce its ecological footprint. The compact, well-built Kargo vehicles can squeeze in small urban streets where parking is limited.
“Purolator wants to take out the big trucks and put in small vehicles that can squeeze in easily, that are less bulky in places with higher traffic,” Kargo’s Charles-Étienne Tremblay-Dion told Informe Affaires.
That’s likely why the Ville de Montreal chose Kargo for a two-vehicle pilot as well. This especially stands to reason in the Plateau Mont-Royale. Make delivery vehicles more space and energy efficient in places where there’s a lot of people and cars, and not a lot of space.
“We do not pretend to replace all vehicles,” said Tremblay-Dion. However, “we consider that 10% to 15% of vehicles are oversized in municipal fleets.”
Parks Canada and SÉPAQ have also purchased Kargo vehicles.
Kargo’s vehicles can plug directly into conventional outlets, in addition to offering approximately 75 km of autonomy depending on the sites and the temperature. Kargo’s vehicle is currently the only LSV in Quebec eligible for the $5,000 government subsidy for 100 percent electric vehicles.
On the ecological front, the trucks are manufactured using recyclable, green materials. The trucks do not emit hydrocarbons, smoke or particles.
Kargo has also set up a pilot project in Toronto, with plans to develop its footprint in the GTA in 2021. From there they can expand to the rest of Canada. However, the pandemic put a brief pause on those plans over 2020.
The province of Quebec has a strong history of electric vehicle innovation, spanning several companies.
Just a few months ago, Quebec City’s AddEnergie raised $53 million for its electric charging station network throughout North America.
Meanwhile, in September, Amazon tabbed St. Jerome’s Lion Electric to produce a fleet of 10 battery-powered delivery vehicles.
As far back as 2016 we reported on Quebec’s diverse pool of electric vehicle manufacturers or facilitators. In that piece we profiled companies like Taiga Motors, which produces electric leisure and sport vehicles. We also profiled Azastra Opto, which created the highest efficiency optical-to electrical conversion technology. It has since sold to Broadcom.
Meanwhile, the Montreal police bought up several Lito Sora electric motorcycles back in 2016. However, the company’s previous URL now leads to Meridian Group.