The Metropolitan Montreal area has all it needs to make its presence felt in the area of electric and smart transportation, said Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal president and chief executive officer Michel Leblanc. That includes a core of technology talent and businesses, a concentration of global leaders in artificial intelligence and “world-renowned creativity,” Leblanc said in a news release.

A new chamber study is a starting point for that essential reflection process, Leblanc said.

The study from the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Propulsion Quebec is titled “Positioning Quebec and Montreal as leaders in electric and smart transportation.” The chamber says the study is meant to “fuel much-needed reflection” to allow Quebec and Montreal to stand out in those two areas.

Connected, autonomous, shared electric vehicles are “the future of mobility,” said Propulsion Quebec chief executive officer Sarah Houde.

“This study shows that Quebec has assets to distinguish itself in these niches. We need to leverage Quebec’s recognized expertise in electrification and the pool of innovative businesses in land transportation,” Houde said. “But our success in this changing sector requires an agile regulatory framework, adapted to both the current technological context and our ambitions. The study provides an analytical tool for the best ways to support the deployment and commercialization of transportation innovations. Propulsion Quebec is determined to bring together industry stakeholders to make Quebec the ultimate place to develop, test and implement new mobility technology.”

The study’s four main chapters are:

— A diagnosis of the regulatory framework of Quebec.
— A benchmark of international best practices based on an analysis of the regulatory framework and public policy from 10 territories.
— A summary of success factors drawn from international benchmarking to identify areas of excellence and avenues for improvement for Quebec.
— Avenues for recommendation for Quebec and Greater Montréal, focused on three strategic areas:  

— Strategic focus 1: Increase the number of electric and smart mobility products and services developed in Quebec. Financing technology showcases in cities and municipalities is one of the study’s recommendations in this area.
— Strategic focus 2: Increase electric and smart transportation demand. Reforming the pricing of electric charging for individuals, businesses and vehicle fleet operators is one of the study’s recommendations in this area. As a model drawn from best practices, the study names Norway as a world leader in the adoption of personal electric vehicles. Norway accomplished that by deploying “a vast rapid charging network and targeted incentives,” the study says.
— Strategic focus 3: Ensure transportation industry growth by optimizing and coordinating government strategies. Easing the regulatory framework and adapting it to the pace of development of new business models is one of the recommendations. The study mentions Ontario as having developed a major smart vehicle sector through its focus on flexible regulation.

“The rapid rate of change in the field of transportation here and around the world requires a paradigm shift at every level to make room for innovation and ingenuity,” said Marc Blanchet, vice-president, Southwest Quebec, at SNC-Lavalin. “We support this study that speaks to all actors and offers areas of focus to accelerate innovation and provide momentum to Quebec’s electric and smart mobility industry.”