Sherbrooke, Quebec – A hybrid electric version of the Quebec-built Can-Am Spyder is the focus of a $11.3 million grant to the Université de Sherbrooke. Bombardier, which builds the Can-Am, said it is the only electric hybrid roadster development project in the world.
The funding will consist of $6.2 million from the federal government’s Automotive Partnership Canada program and $5.1 from Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).
“Our mandate is ambitious and complex,” said Mihai Rasidescu, president and general manager of the Centre de technologies avancées BRP at the university. “Our goal is to develop completely new electric hybrid technology for a three-wheel vehicle that uses 50 per cent less fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by 50 per cent while maintaining its speed, power and performance.”
The research team will include about 30 people from the university and BRP. The roadster’s compact size alone poses major challenges, the university said, and the researchers will have to design an entirely new propulsion system rather than modify existing hybrid technology. Over the next four years, the team will produce three generations of prototypes and their components. Any technological innovations will be potentially transferable to other types of vehicles and products.