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BRP to produce electric Can-Am Commander

BRP will assemble specialized motorized vehicles derived from its line of products at a new plant located in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The facility will concentrate on assembling customized vehicles to meet the requirements of governments, municipalities, institutions and agencies, as well as individual consumers, according to a company press release. The new assembly plant will create 20 new jobs in Sherbrooke and will grow according to demand.

“This decision allows us to first assemble gasoline-powered vehicles with specific requirements from our existing products for which we already have orders from the Middle East,” said Jose Boisjoli, president and CEO. ”We will also make the most of the technologies developed at the Centre de technologies avancees BRP-University de Sherbrooke (CTA) and produce zero-emission electric vehicles.”

One of the specialized products being assembled at this new facility, the prototype of the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle, was introduced in Montreal last summer during Club BRP. In light of the reaction from dealers, distributors and the media from around the world, BRP is going ahead with marketing and selling the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle.

“We will be using the same marketing and distribution strategy that we used for our Can-Am Spyder roadster,” said Mihai Rasidescu, vice-president, Specialized Vehicles Group. “We will recruit from within our existing dealer network to develop the business and gradually expand as market demand grows. We will go out in phases and, starting July 1, 2012, the Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle will be on sale at some BRP dealers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas and Virginia.”

The first Can-Am Commander electric side-by-side vehicle goes to Sherbrooke University, BRP’s partner in the CTA that developed the vehicle’s electric technology. The vehicle can reach a speed of 40 km/h (about 25 mph) and has a range of between 40 and 160 km (25-100 miles), depending on driving habits, vehicle speed, terrain conditions, weather temperature and battery type.

Learn more about the decision to take the electric Commander into production in an upcoming edition of Powersports Business, which will feature an interview with Boisjoli.

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