A project to design Canada’s first zero-emission vehicle is earning $ 5 million in federal funding.
The Arrow Project, led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers ’Association (APMA) of Canada, is already underway and will become the country’s first zero-emissions complete manufacturing vehicle.
“This is a huge announcement; it’s really innovative,” MP Irek Kusmierczyk said in Windsor on Wednesday, announcing the investment by the Southern Ontario Federal Agency for Economic Development (FedDev Ontario).
“We are seeing the automotive sector going through a huge transition,” said Kusmierczyk, who represents the Windsor-Tecumseh driving force.
“This is another piece of the puzzle to make sure Canada and southwestern Ontario and Windsor-Essex are at the center of the electric vehicle supply chain and production and research globally.”
APMA includes 90% of all spare parts manufacturers in Canada and the organization is already working on a physical prototype of the vehicle at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. The CAS virtual reality of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation is used to design a fully rendered virtual model of the Arrow vehicle.
A Fedev Ontario statement said the $ 5 million will support 80 jobs and up to 40 car suppliers and technology companies.
APMA President Flavio Volpe said funding will be vital to integrating technology with a vehicle and building the digital twin by the end of next year.
“Government investment today is proof, at least in their eyes, that we are an effective vehicle for the economic development of this industry in this region.
“They are committed to our ability to get the Canadian message around the world with the money they invest.”
Volpe said that once the vehicle is completed, time will be spent over the next two years on technology demonstrations, both with vehicle manufacturers and at auto showers around the world.
Meanwhile, Volpe said, the 40 companies working on the vehicle are headquartered in Windsor.
Fedev Ontario said work on the vehicle concept will provide a “plan for battery development and integration.”
Practically designed electric vehicle in Windsor
The digital twin of the concept car allows the project team to manipulate a virtual model of the vehicle in a fully immersive 3D experience through VR CAVE in the Border Logistics and Security building in Windsor.
Product engineers and designers will be able to test and adjust vehicle parts digitally, reducing costs and saving time while building a physical concept.
The realization of the digital twin, which took 350 hours to build, can be tested in real conditions, simulating the VR CAVE.
Earlier this year, General Motors, Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and Ford made investments of millions of dollars to convert production at Ontario plants to handle electric vehicles.
- GM transformed its CAMI plant into Ingersoll to manufacture commercial electric vehicles.
- $ 1,989 million from Ford that will “primarily” go to Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville and the two Windsor engine assembly plants.
- $ 1.5 billion from Stellantis for the production of electric vehicles, which would generate 2,000 jobs at the Windsor assembly plant.