Québec boasts a number of centres of excellence, especially in the advanced ground transportation sector. The main centres are the following:
IREQ has developed world-renowned expertise in the field of lithium and lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery materials. Through the institute, Hydro-Québec holds half of the patents on the new lithium and lithium-ion batteries that have been developed. In fact, IREQ, in collaboration with its partners, has filed North American, European, and Asian patents on a lithium iron phosphate cathode material used to increase the stability and safety of lithium-ion batteries and reduce their cost.
To ensure large-scale, high-quality production, Hydro-Québec licenses various partners to manufacture the advanced materials IREQ has developed.
National Advanced Transportation Center (CNTA)
CNTA focuses on developing electric cars and advanced transportation in Québec. To that end, it evaluates and demonstrates vehicle performance under real-use conditions and conducts road tests. CNTA’s expertise makes it a global leader in electric vehicles and associated technical appraisals.
Québec Advanced Transportation Institute (ITAQ)
ITAQ is the reference when it comes to sustainable transportation. Specializing in product development services, technical assistance, technology transfer and customized technical training, it makes that multidisciplinary expertise available to businesses (primarily SMBs) and other organizations in the field. Its advanced transportation R&D facilities are unique in Canada.
Karim Zaghib, a researcher and Director, Energy Storage and Conversion at IREQ, is internationally recognized. In 2009, his work led to a remarkable achievement: fully discharging and recharging a 1 Ah battery 30,000 times in one minute, which is quite impressive considering that it takes at least three hours to fully recharge an electric car!
A leading proponent, Mr. Zaghib has published over 240 articles, filed more than 160 patents, and collaborated on 13 books. In 2010, he was General Chair of the International Meeting on Lithium Batteries.
The Chair specializes in the synthesis and characterization of materials used for energy storage and conversion. Its goal is begin the process of identifying new energy storage materials and pave the way for large-scale production and application.