A project to design Canada’s first zero-emission vehicle is getting $5 million in federal funding.

Project Arrow, spearheaded by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) of Canada, is already underway and set to become the country’s first, original, full-build zero-emission concept vehicle.

“This is a huge announcement; this is really ground-breaking,” MP Irek Kusmierczyk said Wednesday in Windsor, in announcing the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) investment.

“We’re seeing the automotive sector going through a huge transition right now,” said Kusmierczyk, who represents the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh.

“This is another piece of the puzzle to make sure that Canada, and southwestern Ontario and Windsor-Essex are at the centre of electric vehicle supply chain, and production and research globally.”

The APMA includes 90 per cent of all auto-parts makers in Canada, and the organization is already working on a physical prototype of the vehicle at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s virtual reality CAVE is being utilized to engineer a virtual model of the fully rendered Arrow vehicle.

A statement from Fedev Ontario said the $5 million will support 80 jobs, and as many as 40 auto suppliers and technology firms. 

APMA president Flavio Volpe said the funding will be vital for integrating the technology with one vehicle and building the digital twin by the end of next year. 

“The government’s investment today is proof, at least in their eyes, that we are an effective vehicle for economic development for this industry in this region.

“They’re betting on our ability to bring the Canadian message around the world with the money that they’re investing.”

WATCH | Flavio Volpe of the APMA explains how Project Arrow got its start: How Project Arrow, Canada’s zero-emissions vehicle, got its startPresident of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, Flavio Volpe, explains where the idea of this electric vehicle came from and how it ended up receiving funding from the federal government. 0:52

Volpe said once the vehicle is finalized, time will be spent over the next two years on technology demonstrations, both with vehicle makers and auto shows around the world. 

In the meantime, Volpe said, the 40 companies working on the vehicle are based in Windsor. 

Fedev Ontario said work on the concept vehicle will provide a “blueprint for battery development and integration.” 

Electric vehicle virtually engineered 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 the VR CAVE at the Border Logistics and Security building in Windsor. 

Engineers and product designers will be able to test and adjust parts for the vehicle digitally, cutting costs and saving time while a physical concept is built.

The completion of the digital twin, which took 350 hours to build, can be tested under real-world conditions, simulated inside the VR CAVE.

In 2020, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) of Canada selected this design for the zero-emissions concept vehicle by Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design in Ottawa. (APMA)

Earlier this year, General Motors, Stellantis — formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — and Ford all made billion-dollar investments to convert production in Ontario plants to handle electric vehicles. 

They include: 

$1 billion by GM to transform its CAMI plant in Ingersoll to make commercial electric vehicles. $1.98 billion by Ford that “predominantly” will go toward Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville and Windsor’s two Ford engine assembly plants. $1.5 billion from Stellantis for electric vehicle production, which would create 2,000 jobs at the company’s Windsor Assembly Plant. 


Source From CBC News

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