Police in Montreal and Longueuil will soon be patrolling the streets on a brand new electric motorcycle created by Longueuil-based Lito Green Motion.
Founded in 2009, Lito is the mastermind behind the first luxury electric “superbike,” the Sora. The startup is also a graduate of Montreal’s Ecofuel accelerator program, and is the first electric vehicle manufacturer approved by Transport Canada in Canada for a personal vehicle.
Lito CEO Jean-Pierre Legris told MTLinTECH Friday that two police bikes would be delivered to the Longueuil force within a month. Montreal’s force has requested two bikes as well.
“If you’re driving your car too fast maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be pulled over by a Lito police motorcycle,” joked the CEO. More seriously, he said, “we had to develop a complete, full-size electric police motorcycle and we’re pushing hard on that segment. We think these deals will open the door to the mass market and in about five years from now we want to deliver thousands of units”
It certainly hasn’t been a good week for police in the province after reports alleged that Quebec provincial police have been spying on at least six journalists. But Thursday the province took matters into its own hands, launching a commission of inquiry into the spying.
Lito’s machine comes with a hefty price tag – at least $100,000 – and includes a hand-assembled 12kWh lithium-polymer battery which can be recharged in 9 hours with the on-board J1772-compatible charger. Its frame is made from carbon fibre and machined aluminum elements.
The company delivered its first luxury motorcycle to a customer in 2014. They positioned it as high-end from the start – and dealt with the growing pains along the way.
“We learned how to become a manufacturer, how to deal with high net-worth individuals with high-end requests and how to deal with recalls. Now we have a huge opportunity with the police motorcycles,” said Legris. “Everyday is a challenge. We take the good days with the bad and we’re working hard towards our future.”
According to AutoEvolution’s Florin Tibu, Lito’s 1498 mm (59.0 in.) wheelbase makes the Sora extremely agile in the urban environment with no compromises for highway comfort.
“One of the really nifty features of the Sora is the electrically-adjustable solo seat, which allows riders of all statures to find their optimal riding position aboard this intriguing bike. Changes can be made on the fly, and this means the Sora adds a new definition for riding comfort and modern ergonomics.”
“Sora comes with a 27-degree, 43mm inverted forks and a fully adjustable Elka rear suspension, lightweight machined aluminum 17-inch wheels, dual 310mm petal rotors in the front and a 250mm rear one, and tips the scales at 260 kg (573 lb). Juice for the liquid-cooled direct drive motor comes from a hand-assembled 12kWh lithium-polymer battery which can be recharged in 9 hours with the on-board J1772-compatible charger.”
But Lito isn’t the only company in Quebec making waves within the electric vehicle space. The province seems to be fertile ground for companies developing innovation. One of Lito’s cohort mates in the Ecofuel accelerator program last year was Asastra-Opto, which develops photonic energy converters with “the best conversion efficiencies in the world,” which can be used to improve the efficiency of electric vehicles.
Moreover, the Montreal Gazette’s Tracey Lindeman recently reported on a new electric snowmobile being developed by a trio of former McGill students in Shawinigan. Taiga motors started from an electric vehicle hobby group at McGill, and is now taking on an industry notorious for producing smog-forming emissions (and lot of winter fun).