A new study by Propulsion Québec highlights the electric and smart transportation industry as a great investment opportunity

Published on 3 December 2021 Propulsion Québec Press release

Montreal, December 3, 2021 — The electric and smart transportation (EST) cluster, Propulsion Québec, unveiled a new study today on the province’s EST funding chain. One of the objectives of Propulsion Québec’s funding working group is to help build connections between Quebec’s smart and electric transportation businesses and stakeholders in the funding chain to facilitate access to the funding required at different growth stages, while respecting societal goals, such as efforts to fight climate change.  

Propulsion Québec tasked EY with conducting this wide ranging project, in collaboration with a steering committee of Quebec funding stakeholders, with a view to identifying and addressing funding issues and mobilizing the industry’s business ecosystem. 

The project received outstanding support from the ecosystem and involved extensive data collection and analysis: 

  • 60 businesses contacted 
  • 25 interviews with CEOs and financial managers 
  • 20 interviews with local and international investors  
  • More than 3,000 transactions reviewed (US, CAN, QC) 

Analysis of the current situation, needs, sources, and action plan 

The goal: analyze the funding chain, get a better understanding of the financial resources companies need to grow, and identify local and international funding sources for the EST industry. A directory of funding sources for Quebec businesses was drawn up and presented at the unveiling. The project’s findings have laid the groundwork for a strategy and action plan to help meet the funding challenges of the EST industry.  

The study shows that a lack of funding is currently one of the major obstacles to business growth in Quebec’s EST sector, especially during the critical seed and start-up stages. It also shows that Quebec EST businesses face a highly competitive North American funding market. Several factors are at play, including a slower funding cycle and smaller investment tickets than elsewhere in North America. The industry also has substantial capital requirements. Over the next five years, the industry will need an estimated $1.4 billion in investments. 

To boost available funding, Propulsion Québec recommends that a private EST investment fund of at least $100 million be set up. This could be divided into different sub-funds to help support companies in the critical and risky seed and start-up phases (Series A) to ensure the growth of the Quebec EST ecosystem and help position Quebec as a world leader in this area.  


“The study reveals fifteen issues and essential solutions that must be implemented to support the growth of Quebec’s EST businesses at all stages of development. Adequate funding for EST companies is vital to achieving our objectives of positioning Quebec as a leader, creating a solid core of companies throughout the value chain, and thereby making the province a preferred location for designing, testing and commercializing low-GHG-emission electric mobility products and solutions,” explained Sarah Houde, President and CEO of Propulsion Québec, the electric and intelligent transportation cluster.  

“Thanks to the study conducted by Propulsion Québec, we have a complementary picture of the issues related to financing in the electric and smart transportation industry. Investissement Québec offers several financial solutions to support companies in this sector. Consequently, I invite investors to mobilize in order to improve this offer thus helping to make Québec a leader in the transition to the future of transportation,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and the Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development.  

Short videos presenting the funding paths of Quebec EST businesses were produced.


The work was conducted in collaboration with a steering committee of Quebec funding stakeholders and with the financial support of the Québec government, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins Group, MacKinnon, Bennett & Company, Investissement Québec, Fondaction, and Langlois Lawyers. 

To download the report : 

About Propulsion Québec 

Quebec’s electric and smart transportation cluster rallies the entire sector around joint projects aimed at positioning Quebec as a global leader in developing and implementing smart and electric modes of ground transportation. Created in 2017, Propulsion Québec now has more than 230 members from a variety of sectors as well as seven working groups dedicated to developing and supporting innovative projects. The cluster receives financial support from the Government of Québec, the Government of Canada, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), ATTRIX, Desjardins Group, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Hydro-Québec, and Québecor.  

More information:

Claire Maynadier

Director, Communications and public relations

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