A great success
On April 1, 2015, the merger between the Centre national du transport avancé (CNTA) and the Institut du transport avancé du Québec (ITAQ) promised to break through new frontiers of knowledge in the vehicular sphere. As we are celebrating the first anniversary of the Innovative Vehicle Institute (IVI), the organization born from this alliance, we are proud to present a long list of successes.
While the deployment of the electric vehicle industry becomes a national economic issue for the Quebec government, IVI – a College Center for Technology Transfer (CCTT) affiliated with the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme – is now known as the reference for the advancement of applied research and development of vehicle technologies reducing our environmental footprint. « I am very proud of the results achieved in so little time. The IVI is already considered a pillar and a partner of choice, both by the industry and the government of Quebec who has given us confidence for the realization of several initiatives included in the Transportation Electrification Action Plan 2015 -2020« , says François Adam, Executive Director of IVI.
The merger allowed for the increase of the Institute’s infrastructure and resources. The Institute has a laboratory test and a workshop for heavy vehicles. « In one year, we hired three new engineers and one technician to meet the demand of our customers and we are still recruiting. Today, we have 16 engineers specialized in the design of electrical, mechanical, robotics, mechatronics and embedded softwares applied to the field of electric vehicles and energy storage« , proudly adds Frederick Prigge, Director of Research and Development at IVI.
As a CCTT, part of the IVI’s mission is dedicated to training. The Institute is delighted to have collaborated with the Formation continue, services aux entreprises et International (FCSEI) of the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme for the implementation of an Attestation of college studies (AEC) in electric vehicle technology. « The cohort that began in February is a first in North America! Companies can count on us to provide a skilled workforce in this industry of the future« , comments Nadine Le Gal, Executive Director of Cégep de Saint-Jérôme and board member of IVI.
In terms of achievements, IVI has led several major projects over the past 12 months, which certainly will have economic, social and environmental benefits for Quebec:
Many of IVI’s engineers worked with the technical team of eLion to optimize the first commercial series of 100% electric school buses. « After developing the prototype, it was important to make an efficient technology transfer to Lion Bus. We will always be there to support Lion Bus, but our mission is to help the company innovate and be independent« , states François Adam.
During the 18 month pilot phase, IVI is responsible for the scientific part of the new service of electric taxis in Montreal. These taxis are equipped with data acquisition systems. Every day a Tesla S, a Kia Soul or a Nissan Leaf is tested on a dynamometer in our laboratory. The performance, reliability, and state of the battery pack in extreme conditions are evaluated in order to provide essential data for the deployment of a large-scale electric taxi service.
AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARION
Based on a collaborative approach between the industry and the research community, ARION brings together 17 partners with complementary skills in order to develop an expertise for Autonomous Electric Vehicles for Off-Road Applications, primarily for agricultural, recreotouristic and industrial applications. This project has a budget of $3.2 million over five years, including $2.3 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), $680,000 from private partners and $220,000 from InnovÉÉ.
In partnership with FPInnovations, Précicad, Kargo and Deutschman Design, IVI has developed an electric shuttle prototype for the Calgary Airport. Twenty shuttles are in production at the Kargo plant in Alma. These shuttles will be in service at the international terminal of the airport next October.
The IVI has worked closely with LTS to expand its portfolio. LTS and the American company Nordco jointly developed the first high capacity 100% electric railway tractor, and they turned to IVI to assist in the project.
Sylvain Castonguay, former Director of Innovation at IVI, established his own company, Nordresa, aiming to market a delivery vehicle. « We are working together on the electrification of a first prototype dedicated to parcel delivery in urban areas. Quebec needs integrators, and we are very happy when an entrepreneur dares to engage in the manufacture of electric vehicles« , says François Adam.
The Institute has already positioned itself as a strategic resource and a catalyst for innovation that has everything to ensure the success of the projects it manages, thanks to its network of partners.
« I am delighted to see that IVI has exceeded its objectives and continues to grow wisely. If the number of collaborations increases, it is a sign that more organizations are looking to bring to market products that are both smart and non-polluting. This can only be good news for the future« , concluded Yves Provencher, chairman of the board of IVI.