The mobility’s future depends largely on the transports sector electrification. If there is one thing that Quebec knows how to do, it is electricity as well as electric vehicles like Lion trucks or Taiga snowmobiles. It is easy to forget that Canada is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, behind China. Hydro-Quebec alone produces more than 45% of the Canadian capacity and the experts of Hydro-Quebec International (production) are present in several countries of the world (including China).
The major world players in electric aviation are well aware of this asset and expertise. They are currently organizing themselves to seize the opportunities that are being developed in Québec. Aéro Montréal and Montréal International are doing a remarkable job of courting and welcoming them.
Quebec's green electricity
Transport electrification would make no sense if the electricity was produced by coal-fired power plants, as unfortunately too many still exist in the world. Hydroelectricity produced by Hydro-Quebec is completely respectful of the environment (despite the need for mitigating measures during the construction of dams) and perfectly complemented by wind and solar power.
Some would say that green energy sources currently represent the transfer of one source of pollution to another. Indeed, hydroelectric dams had to deal with ecological disruption of our natural environments, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries require large quantities of minerals produced by mining sites that have had bad press in the past, and the majority of the components come from the other side of the world and are transported by boats and vehicles that still run on diesel. Nevertheless, comparative studies show beyond doubt that these new means of energy production are a lesser evil. This is not a justification for not improving our ecological balance sheet.
In this reality, Quebec is also a world leader. Mining 4.0 using new technologies, new energies and the best ways to reduce the ecological footprint of mining operations were first developed here in Quebec. The fact that most of the mining resources needed in the entire supply chain are available and already mined in our own backyard significantly reduces transportation needs. Companies like Lion Electric will also reduce the pollution generated in the supply chain with 100% electric trucks.
In order for the entire supply chain to be considered green, it is undeniable that each link in the chain must use materials, energy and operating methods that meet the latest standards of sustainable development.
This is what makes electric mobility so exciting in our province. Since the amount of hydroelectricity produced is extremely important, and all stakeholders have identified sustainable development as a basic premise for the entire supply chain for over two decades, we can call our energy truly green. This also puts us in a good position to continue the expansion of our production capacity without too much ecological opposition.
Research in Quebec is at the forefront of what can be done around the world. We have here inspiring people like Dr. Karim Zaghib, a leading expert in the field of batteries, who has knowledge and patents that are used by various industries throughout the world. IREQ, Hydro-Quebec's research center, and Quebec’s major universities are also vectors of innovation in the field of electrical engineering that are pushing the various industry players to get closer to Montreal and the aerospace cluster in terms of sustainable aviation. Private companies are also investing in the research and development of storage and recharging solutions needed to build the network of tomorrow.
We have everything we need to remain one of the world's leading producers of hydroelectricity, to maintain our international attractiveness in aeronautics and to become a world leader in the energy storage industry.
Reconnecting the regions
Quebec's geographical configuration is perfect for demonstrating the full range of possibilities of electric air transport. The climate here allows us to operate even in the worst weather conditions. If it works here, we can assume that it will work almost everywhere on the globe... where there are people to transport!
Many Quebec cities are no longer profitable destinations for "standard" airlines operating jet or propeller aircrafts. The arrival of hybrid (thermal and electric) and electric aircraft will make it possible to reach these destinations at much more accessible prices.
Did you know that the price of an air cab ride would be similar to the price of a conventional taxi but with drastically reduced travel times? The air cab service has been designed for all of us, it is no longer an elitist means of transportation like the helicopter was. Look at the illustration and reimagine your private and professional travels!