Mission to the birthplace of the automotive industry

Highlights from our electric and intelligent transportation mission to Michigan

From February 26 to 28, 2019, Propulsion Québec led a Quebec delegation on a smart and electric transportation mission to Detroit, Michigan, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the Detroit Regional Chamber.

by Propulsion Québec
Mission to the birthplace of the automotive industry

The delegation included Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie Nadine Girault, who presented Quebec’s transportation electrification sector as a prime example of the innovation and resourcefulness that characterizes much of the province’s output. She also did a great job of promoting the knowledge and expertise of Quebec’s companies and research centers involved in electric vehicle assembly, electric motorization, batteries, and charging systems. Minister Girault was quick to point out that land transportation and sustainable mobility are strategic sectors of the Quebec economy and that companies in these sectors looking to export to the United States can count on Quebec’s government offices there for support.1

The province was proudly represented by numerous Propulsion Québec members and partners:

  • Louis Tremblay, president and CEO of AddÉnergie and chairman of Propulsion Québec’s board
  • Jean-Pierre Fournier, head of business development for Jakarto
  • Nick Voisard, director of sales with The Lion Electric Co.
  • Gwenaelle Thibault, project director with Montréal International
  • Dakx Turcotte, VP of sales and application engineering with Leddartech
  • Emmanuelle Toussaint, vice president of public and legal affairs for Novabus and Prevost (a member of the Volvo Group) and vice president of Propulsion Québec’s board of directors
  • Alain Charlois, member of the board of Phantom Intelligence
  • Geeri Kowlessur, partner and executive vice president of Proxybus

The delegation started out by participating in a Michigan-Quebec conference with decision-makers from the electric and intelligent transportation industry. Veteran transportation stakeholders took part in some fascinating discussions about the future of transportation, including:

  • Sarah Houde, president and CEO of Propulsion Québec
  • Sarah Yager, BDM analyst with NAVYA Group
  • Mac Dashney, special advisor with MAPT (Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation)
  • Collin Castle, intelligent transport system (ITS) program manager with MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation)
  • Kevin Kerrigan, senior vice president of MEDC’s (Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s) Automotive Office
  • Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction with the Detroit Regional Partnership (Detroit Regional Chamber)

There were many enlightening discussions about the issues and challenges faced in deploying test vehicles, electrifying school buses, optimizing the user experience, and other current initiatives.

Delegation members also got the chance to tour a number of businesses and facilities in the region, including Planet M Landing Zone, American Center for Mobility, and MCity.

The delegation was a big success, in a number of ways. Vehicle and infrastructure manufacturers were able to meet with major buyers, including the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation, Navya, the State of Michigan Department of environmental quality and Ann Arbor SPARK. Companies in the automated vehicle industry met with some of the top minds in testing and ecosystem coordination and took a very inspiring tour of worldclass testing and prototyping facilities for automated and connected vehicles.

To learn more:

1 Paragraph pulled from a press release issued by Ministère des relations internationales et de la Francophonie on February 28, 2019.