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Gofer-EV: Saskatchewan Innovation Goes Underground


By Collections Curator Ruth Bitner
October 2013

What’s Old is New Again

Think electric vehicles are a new idea? In the early 20th century, the internal combustion engine had not yet taken over as the motive power of choice for the growing automobile industry. Electric and steam-powered cars contended for the buyer’s attention but the writing was on the wall and by 1920, few remained.

Not until recent years has technology advanced to the point where electric vehicles offer a viable alternative to their gasoline-powered kin. Enter PapaBravo Innovations of Saskatoon.

Innovative Saskatchewan Story

Founded by Saskatoon’s Patric Byrns in 2010 as an offshoot of another business interest, PapaBravo builds electric vehicles or EVs, for the mining industry. EVs are especially popular in underground operations like potash mines because, unlike gas or diesel vehicles, they do not produce air-polluting emissions.

Exceeding Expectations

The Gofer-EV, Papa Bravo’s prototype electric vehicle, exceeded expectations during extensive testing both above and below ground. Its success led to development of other electric vehicles, including a 4 x 4 one ton. Papa Bravo’s EVs can travel 120 km per charge using batteries that recharge in less than an hour.

Gofer Finds New Home at WDM

The company recently donated its 2010 prototype Gofer-EV to the Western Development Museum. Saskatchewan innovations, past and present, are key themes to be explored as the WDM looks forward to the future.

"The WDM is grateful to PapaBravo’s Patric Byrns for recognizing the importance of preserving his important Saskatchewan innovation," said Joan Champ, WDM Executive Director. The Gofer EV will be part of Fuelled by Innovation, an upcoming exhibit of alternate fuel vehicles.


Saskatchewan InnovationYou might also be interested in:

- More Saskatchewan Innovations

- About the WDM Collection

- How to donate an artifact