In the last few days, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has announced its return to the motorcycle world. To mark the 50th anniversary of Can-Am, the manufacturer will be launching a brand new family of electrically powered motorcycles.
This announcement is in line with the March 2021 announcement where BRP committed to introduce at least one electric model in all its product lines by the end of 2026. To do so, the manufacturer will invest $300 million over 5 years. During this period, it will create an electric vehicle development center.
BRP is working on its own Rotax modular electric propulsion technology that will be used in all its vehicles.
Personally, I believe that the quad may be one of the next segments where we could see an electric model added. Indeed, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles could quite easily receive batteries and other components that allow an electric propulsion.
In addition, for many users, these vehicles are used in summer or in climates where temperatures remain above freezing. This allows the batteries to maintain their efficiency unlike snowmobiles for example.
There is also the fact that these vehicles can more easily get to charging stations since they are on wheels.
Nevertheless, the development of an all-electric powertrain will require a lot of innovation on the part of BRP engineers. Thus, designing electric quads is probably one of the biggest technological challenges the industry will ever face. It’s all well and good to make a 100% electric quad, but it still has to have the necessary autonomy to make it interesting for quad riders. Technological solutions will also have to take into consideration the weight factor versus the one of the gasoline propulsion systems in order to avoid problems with the vehicle’s behavior and dynamics.
With the arrival of electric quads in the next few years, it is now time to plan the installation of charging stations accessible from the trails.
It would therefore not be surprising to see several initiatives put in place over the next few years. These initiatives will undoubtedly be carried out by merchants, tourist associations, quad clubs (relays) and even by the Fédération Québécoise des Clubs Quad (FQCQ).
In short, the next few years will be very interesting from a technological point of view. As a columnist, I can’t wait to discover the arrival of electric vehicles and all the innovations that BRP – Can-Am will soon present to us!