PRESS RELEASE – Sherbrooke company, Concept Geebee, today announced in that city the launch of Québec’s first pilot project to field test its electric mobipods, GEEBEE on the Road, in collaboration with the City of Sherbrooke and Sherbrooke Innopole.
This initiative is in line with the August 15, 2018 decree No. 2018-18 from the Ministre des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports, which has made it possible to test the electric mobipods in Quebec. This decision provides the opportunity for any manufacturer or distributer of scooters, subject to the decree to register with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), to conduct a pilot field test project of this type of vehicle under certain conditions. Concept Geebee has been authorized by the SAAQ to be used on public roads since August 2018.
“We have been waiting on this opportunity for a long time,” enthusiastically noted Sabine Le Névannau, President of Concept Geebee. “First and foremost, the scooter model that we make here in Sherbrooke had to be legalized for driving on Québec’s public roads and bike paths to enable us to more easily market our technology in the province. We would like to thank the SAAQ for making it possible to develop a secure framework around this field test project and for overseeing it, which will lead to the further development of regulations.”
The pilot project has been selected by Sherbrooke Innopole as a part of the second call for proposals within the Validation of Technological Innovation under Testing – Program (VITE). This marketing support program offers Sherbrooke companies the opportunity to demonstrate their innovation in the field by connecting them with a local, para-public, or institutional organization. The winning projects benefit from support provided by Sherbrooke Innopole and a non-repayable contribution of up to $10 000.
In addition, the City of Sherbooke will soon receive a fleet of three electric motorized GEEBEE personal transportation vehicles that will be available to city employees for two years in order to optimize their work-related travel in Sherbrooke’s city parks and downtown area. As a part of the field test project, staff will be trained to use the mobipod and to respect the rules of the road in relation to this new mode of transport.
“Changing over to electric transportation is a priority for the City of Sherbooke. It is therefore with pride that we are taking part in this pilot project and that we are allowing Concept Geebee’s electric mobipods to travel around our city. We applaud this Sherbrooke-born concept,” emphasized the Mayor of Sherbrooke, Steve Lussier.
“Concept Geebee is an example of entrepreneurial determination,” stated Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “The field test project that the company will carry out in Sherbrooke, with the support of the VITE program, will not only enable it to accelerate its marketing progress, but also pave the way for the safe, ecological, and enjoyable use of new electric vehicle types on Québec’s roads. We are proud to support entrepreneurs in their local growth and international expansion.”
“Without a doubt, GEEBEE is a formidable mobility solution to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of travel in a professional context. This vehicle’s exceptional technical features and its versatility really stretch the classical image of what can be done with a scooter. It’s a genuine vehicle that can cover over 50 km and attain a speed of up to 32 km/h. This is what is also appealing for other municipalities in Québec. We are working with several cities in our network, such as Plessisville, Varennes, and Assomption, to implement field test projects in various mobility contexts for municipal officers and residents,” added Benoit Balmana, General Manager of Technopôle IVÉO, specialized in the deployment of mobility solutions for small- and medium-sized cities.
With its launch, Concept Geebee is already embarking on its international development, particularly in Europe and the United States. In June, it opened an assembly site and a maintenance site, and the first distribution network in Nevers, France with the help of IVÉO. The company is planning to replicate the same strategy in Denver, Colorado in 2019.
Its business model is targeting large corporations like Hydro-Québec, which has just acquired a fleet to promote urban electric transport, following the example of Montréal’s Quartier de l’Innovation. Other industries are targeted such as companies in the security, agriculture, event, and recreation tourism sectors. To this end, the Sherbooke company is currently preparing for a major round of fund-raising to be able to acquire sufficient resources to quickly penetrate these markets.
Concept Geebee has just been selected for the Recruitment for Fall 2018 cohort of the Ecofuel Accelerator, where it will benefit from personalized support over the next three months with specialized mentors from the cleantech, business, international markets, and entrepreneurship fields.
Sources: Concept Geebee and Sherbrooke Innopole
Photo credit: Concept Geebee