The Government of Canada announced a $5-million FedDev Ontario investment in the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) to support Project Arrow, the automotive industry’s first Canadian-made, zero emission concept vehicle.
Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, highlighted the regional impacts it will have in Windsor-Essex: “Windsor-Essex is capitalizing on this once-in-a-generation shift unfolding in the auto sector and the jobs that come with it, positioning our region as the automobility capital of Canada. With FedDev Ontario support, APMA is leading the charge to accelerate Canada’s transition to a net zero future.”
Founded in 1952, APMA represents OEM producers of parts, equipment, tools, advanced technology and services for the worldwide automotive industry. In 2018, APMA’s automotive parts shipments were over $35 billion and the industry employment level was more than 100,000 people.
With a membership accounting for 90 per cent of all independent automotive parts manufacturers in Canada, APMA will utilize its longstanding connections in the automotive manufacturing industry to bring together key industry and academic partners in southern Ontario to facilitate Project Arrow. The partners will work together to design, engineer and build a connected and autonomous zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) concept car and its digital twin, which will be used as a virtual platform for testing and validating connected and autonomous (CAV) technologies before they are integrated into the physical car.
“This lighthouse project is highlighting hundreds of advanced technology companies around the world and will serve as the calling card for the next generation of leadership in Canadian zero emissions mobility,” said Flavio Volpe, president, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.
FedDev Ontario’s investment in this project will support 80 jobs, leverage over $6.6 million in other funding, support at least 40 automotive suppliers and technology firms, and generate $50 million in additional investment.
The FedDev Ontario funded Virtual Reality CAVE at Invest WindsorEssex will be home to some of the key project activities surrounding the digital concept vehicle, which will be used as a virtual platform for testing and validating connected and autonomous (CAV) technologies before they are integrated into the physical car. The concept vehicle will also act as a blueprint for battery development and integration, tech transfer and intellectual property development.
The project will lead the transformation of Canada’s automotive sector from traditional fuel vehicle development to zero-emission vehicle development, showcasing the capabilities of the Canadian automobility and digital technology sectors to compete on the global stage. It will also help to create a robust electric vehicle supply chain in Canada, increasing Canada’s domestic electric vehicle development capacity in everything from electric powertrains and CAV systems to battery production.
“On behalf of the team at Invest WindsorEssex, and as the official Simulation partner for Project Arrow, we are thrilled about today’s funding announcement for APMA,” said Ed Dawson, Senior Manager, Automobility and Innovation Centre. “Thanks to FedDev Ontario for supporting this extraordinary project and helping to showcase the talent and expertise that exists in our region as so many companies participate in the development of the vehicle. We look forward to our continued partnership with APMA as the vehicle comes to life both virtually and physically.”
Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $82 million in 93 projects in the Essex census division, including a $7.5 million investment in Invest WindsorEssex, to support Canada’s first automobility accelerator, with a focus on electric vehicles, CAVs and cyber security firms, to help entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of these technologies as well as the VR Cave. The Government of Canada is setting a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2035, accelerating Canada’s previous goal.
“Our government is working hard to ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener and more prosperous. Investments like the one made today in Project Arrow is advancing our country’s shift toward electrification in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, a critical step towards reaching the government’s goal of accelerating Canada’s net zero emissions future,” said The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
“Cutting transportation emissions is one of the most achievable and beneficial steps Canada can take to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Today’s investment showcases the advanced skills of the Canadian automotive and digital technology sectors, and puts southern Ontario at the forefront of technology development for zero emission and connected and autonomous vehicles. Canada can compete on the global stage and win,” added The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King–Vaughan.