Canada’s Tesla — Will the ‘Maple Majestic’ EV be welcomed with open arms?

Canadian vehicle company AK Motors has recently unveiled a concept car for their new brand “The Maple Majestic.” This EV which may potentially be made as a hybrid vehicle is designed to better adapt to the harsh conditions that come with cold, wet and salty Canadian winters — something that other EV’s haven’t fully adapted to yet.

While Tesla’s can be remotely warmed up from your smartphone — it doesn’t stop Tesla owners from experiencing issues like not being able to open their car door on a cold day.

I mean if this video doesn’t tell it how it is — I don’t know what will.

Back to the Maple Majestic.

While there isn’t any set price point, range or timeline at all for this vehicle it certainly feels special or unique for the Canadian automotive industry — but can they pull it off?

As of right now the company has released a concept car and the video is taken of a small model car – nothing full size as of yet. The concept car also has no name – unless the first one is simply called “The Maple Majestic,” but again, it’s their brand, not the make and model.

On top of that they’ve really gone keen on making a vehicle fit for extreme weather conditions and comfortability — which includes adjustable ride height suspension.

“The past decade has seen unprecedented development in key electric driveline components from batteries, to inverters, to electric motors,” says the press release. “AK Motor recognizes these elements as becoming commodity components, and while they remain important, AK Motor chooses to focus on other areas of innovation.  In particular, 2 key areas will be extreme weather driving dynamics and occupant hospitality.”

Their adjustable ride height suspension has a target of up to 150mm ride height travel. Meaning a variable ground clearance from a sporty 140mm to a 290mm in conditions like heavy snow. The overall height will be from 1440mm to 1590mm — entering the territory of some mid-sized SUV’s.

It does certainly seem as though EV’s will eventually be the reality of the future — but some say it’s not sustainable yet to have everyone drive electric vehicles.

Robert Bryce wrote in the New York Post back in 2019 that in order for the UK to reach their climate goals for 2050, they would need a lot of raw-earth materials (as well as other commodities) and switching nearly every New Yorker (11.3 million motor vehicles) to an EV.

“They found doing so would require two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018.” (Referring to a letter sent to the UK government from Prof. Richard Herrington, the head of earth sciences at the Natural History Museum in London, and his seven colleagues.)

On top of that he goes on to say that China controls almost half of the global lithium production and 85 per cent of the world’s supply of cobalt — both crucial ingredients used in batteries for EV’s. They even mine about 70 per cent of the world’s supply of “rare earths,” which include neodymium — an essential ingredient in electric motors.

“Society needs to understand that there is a raw-material cost of going green.”

Prof. Richard Herrington

Herrington’s letter even states that “society needs to understand that there is a raw-material cost of going green.”

ARTICLE: Electric vehicles pose a big threat to the environment

So could they pull off selling an electric vehicle in the Canadian or even global markets and still be welcomed with open arms?

According to a Clean Energy Canada and Abacus Data poll, 67 per cent of Canadians believe that U.S. President Joe Biden will help make electric vehicles a growth industry in Canada — while 33 per cent think the market won’t change very quickly and that we shouldn’t put too much focus in this area.

The survey also highlights other demographics and geographical regions like political status, province and age as well as peoples likelihood of buying an EV.

The Canadian government has also committed to battery-electric vehicle manufacturing in Ontario — one thing that will certainly help The Majestic Maple get its wheels from the factory to the consumers driveway — eventually.

With this, AK Motors is aiming to become Canada’s first modern automotive OEM.

“The Province of Ontario, with it’s close proximity to the heart of America’s auto industry in Michigan is the home of Canada’s auto industry where everything that an automotive start-up OEM may need is readily available.  The Windsor-Oshawa industrial corridor is comprised of several hundred companies that form a fully integrated parts supply chain,” says the press release.

They also add that in order to add more stability to Ontario’s auto industry they need to start a local OEM for the global market — “AK Motor’s Maple Majestic brand aims to do just that.”

So while Maple Majestic aims its sight at colder climates, it may just do well competing in the electric vehicle market. When it comes to a global market — it’s going to really have to make itself stand out if it wants to compete with Tesla — which includes similar pricing, range and features.

Only time will tell whether the Maple Majestic will be a first-place contender or a huge wreck in the automotive industry.

As the owners of the Maple Majestic said in replying to a curious viewer of their concept car “we are at the beginning of a long journey, but it is a journey we must take as Canadians if we are going to have an auto industry in the future.” Whether or not you agree with that statement – at least they understand the problems facing EV’s in cold markets.

Read more on AK Motor’s Maple Majestic here.

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