electric vehicles | ProEV races through the wiring

Quebec’s electric transportation ecosystem goes much further than building buses, trucks and snowmobiles. Out of sight, Quebec-born ProEV has just completed the largest North American factory specializing in the manufacture of essential components: electrical wiring.

Posted at 6:00 am

Julian Arsenal

Julian Arsenal
The press

To carry battery power to the engine, heater system and other electrical modules, the company has developed a range of cables used by manufacturers such as Lion Electric, BRP, Harley-Davidson and John Deere. Founded in 1987 and now part of American Electrical Components International (ECI), ProEV will start operations at its new Montreal plant in the Saint-Laurent district this Thursday.

“Everyone talks about the original manufacturers (OEM), but we don’t talk so much about the smaller ones, which are nevertheless indispensable,” says Managing Director Jarred Knecht, who runs the company with his two brothers.

Without the companies that make the components, there are no vehicles.

Jarred Knecht, President of ProEV

Founded by her father, ProEV already employs around 200 people in Pointe-Claire, where they manufacture high-voltage cables and other wire harnesses for the military and medical sectors. These are the three brothers who decided to step on the gas pedal in the industrial vehicle niche.

For ProEV, which was acquired by ECI last year, building the wiring plant outside of Quebec was out of the question, says Knecht.

“It was very important for our partner (ECI) to know that there is a whole ecosystem here,” he says. The government has done a lot to support this industry. That’s why we want to stay here. You have agreed to us. »

More room

The new ProEV facility represents an investment of approximately $10 million. The 60,000 square foot (5,574 square meter) site, which is twice the size of the Pointe-Claire site, employs approximately 250 people. Inside, only 30% of the space is occupied. So there is room for growth, which is inevitable with the switch to electric vehicles, emphasizes Knecht.

This year, production should make it possible to equip between 2,000 and 3,000 vehicles in all categories with ProEV products. Its president believes that the production of cables should eventually supply up to 40,000 vehicles.


PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Jarred Knecht, President of ProEV

“When we started in this area about seven years ago, it was slower,” says Mr. Knecht. But we could see that this was the future. Demand has accelerated significantly over the past three years. »

ProEV decided to specialize in commercial vehicles because this niche was neglected by its competitors. The various products are manufactured in the Montreal factory. This method, says Knecht, helps mitigate supply chain disruptions that are a headache for almost every manufacturing company.

If growth goes according to plan, more than 200 employees are expected to join the workforce of the new ProEV plant over the next three to five years.

Learn more

  • 100
    Around 100 electric industrial vehicles equipped with high-voltage cables from ProEV are already on the road.

    SOURCE: proev

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