Norman De Bono | Publishing date: Nov 02, 2021: Faruk Rama envisions building a new electric vehicle in Ontario, a stylish sleek ride rolling out of a plant east of Toronto some time in 2023, he announced Tuesday from his London home.
Trouve Victory Inc. has $3 billion in backing, support from investors in Oman, as well as other private-sector money and funding from Ontario and federal governments, he said, declining to reveal details.
“We have been polluting our environment for a long time. We must wake up before it is too late to start the clean-energy solution,” said Rama, chairperson of Trouve.
“This will help the environment . . . it will make a better world for our children.”
He is just now closing a deal on about 50 hectares of land east of Toronto and wants to start production in 2023, an aggressive timeline.
However, Trouve is not well known in the Ontario auto industry.
“I don’t know them,” said Flavio Volpe, chief executive of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (AMPA) that represents suppliers to vehicle assemblers.
“I would be wary of anything that compresses timelines. The industry makes 100 million vehicles a year and many in the auto industry are looking to do the same thing,” he said of electric vehicle production.
“You need a prototype that has met all the safety requirements, that has been crashed and safety tested, that has been federally certified. They will have to tool a plant and it usually takes quite a while to build and install. It is hard to see how someone can do that,” in two years.
“I will say I respect the hustle, for sure.”
Trouve will be competing against established automakers and their supply chain for labour, market share, batteries and the technology needed.
“It takes a lot of money to get into this business. They will be fighting Tesla for lithium, GM for cobalt, Toyota for electric engineers. I wish him luck,” Volpe said.
Rama said the company has lined up suppliers, investors and financial support. The Ontario plant will employ about 1,000 when production begins in 2023, he said.
“We have done a lot. So far, patents have been secured, technology and licensing, all that,” Rama said. “We have built an amazing team around the globe.”
The economic development offices of the Ontario and federal governments, which work with new industry, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Trouve vehicles will boast an 18-minute quick charge capability and an overnight full charge in four hours, which will allow 800 to 1,000 kilometres of driving range on a single charge.
Trouve Victory ultimately envisions having plants in Ontario, the U.S., U.K. and Oman. Rama said he has been working on the plan since 2016.