Based in Montreal, Quebec, FTEX was the first company to market a motor controller using Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, an emerging technology for field-effect transistors (FETs) used in inverters for electric powertrain applications, among other things. FTEX used this innovation to benefit from additional efficiencies in both power and sustainability that have resulted in the next generation of powertrain and drive-train technology for small electric vehicles such as e-bikes, scooters and recreational electric vehicles.
This innovative technology was pioneered by FTEX co-founders Ramee Mossa, President, Alexandre Cosneau, Technical lead, and Silvana Huaman, Head of sales and marketing when they were working at Centech, an incubator facility housed at the École de Technologie Supérieure. The focus in the early days was on drone development. Peter Rosenthal, an NRC IRAP industrial technology advisor (ITA), met with Ramee and Alex to provide advisory services related to their designs and market. What Peter learned was that the company's main value proposition was in their electric motor controller that could be deployed not only in drones but in the high-growth electric vehicle market. With NRC IRAP's support, the firm developed its first prototype for its vehicle power management system.
Using their proprietary electronic circuit design, the team began to explore broader applications for the new inverter and energy management system. NRC IRAP assisted the company with another project, to develop a smart Dynamic Drive for light electric vehicles. Peter and his NRC IRAP ITA colleague Valerie Barakat, continued to provide advisory services and support related to the technology design and made vital connections between FTEX and specialists in aerospace and cybersecurity. This guidance, coupled with NRC IRAP research and development funding, resulted in many benefits for the company. FTEX was able to improve the efficiency and sustainability of its powertrain and expand its target market to include not only drones, but also e-scooters, e-bikes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and small 4-wheel recreational vehicles, which in turn resulted in an increase in investor interest. FTEX eventually pivoted out of drone systems and chose to focus solely on providing this innovative solution for the personal electric vehicle market.
FTEX began as a 3-person start-up in a university incubator and within 3 years has grown to be a pioneer in precision motor control systems for light electric vehicles. Today, the firm showcases its technology globally and has received the 2021 Jalon Award for its role in helping society transition to more energy-efficient and sustainable modes of transportation.
NRC IRAP is currently supporting FTEX, with the development of their next-generation GaN-focused motor control algorithms and higher power variants for larger vehicles, which is expected to reach the market in 2024. FTEX has also received some support to elaborate its IP strategy in 2022 via the new IP Assist program that was made available by NRC IRAP.
FTEX headquarters remain in Montreal and the firm is committed to continued collaboration with Canadian manufacturers to deliver industry solutions that optimize vehicle performance while reducing our carbon footprint.
"NRC IRAP support has been instrumental in the development of our technology, enabling us to improve our powertrain technologies, broaden our range of product applications, and see an increase in investor interest."