Twenty automotive businesses and organizations have joined forces to quicken the development of a zero-emissions vehicle supply chain in Canada.
The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, the union Unifor, Quebec-based Lion Electric and EV infrastructure company ChargePoint are among the members of Accelerate. The alliance is a five-year national initiative that will bring together key Canadian players, from mining to mobility, from R&D to commercialization, and from vehicle assembly to infrastructure.
“The automotive industry is currently undergoing its biggest change since the invention of the internal combustion engine,” Accelerate said in a statement. “Charged by the global push to net-zero, the transition to ZEVs is accelerating. This is demonstrated by the aggressive ZEV sales targets being adopted in various jurisdictions around the world.”
The organization says the country’s natural resources, talent and infrastructure has Canada “primed to take its place as a global leader in the new auto industry with a robust supply chain.”
“Accelerate’s mission is to ensure Canada capitalizes on this opportunity.”
Moe Kabbara, formerly the lead on investment attraction for Canada’s automotive sector at the department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and now a consultant at Dunsky Energy, is Accelerate’s acting executive director.
“We’re in a race to become a global ZEV leader,” Kabbara said in the same statement. “Accelerating Canada’s ZEV supply chain comes down to competitiveness and jobs.
“Acting now to create this alliance and to position ourselves for success in the rapidly changing automotive sector will ensure we not only retain existing jobs in Canada but also add new ones.”
Accelerate says Canada currently lacks a cohesive strategy and the necessary industry alignment “to take its rightful place in the ZEV transition and ensure its long-term competitiveness.”
“Accelerate will fulfill this vital industry need and provide critical support as markets transition towards ZEV technology.”
“As we continue to decarbonize our transportation sector, having a unified vision for all Canadian players in the industry is very important,” Accelerate Chair and Lion Electric Vice-president of Marketing and Communications Patrick Gervais said. “Initiatives like Accelerate will allow us to strengthen our domestic supply chain and contribute to a successful green economy while lowering costs, creating benefits for EV manufacturers in every category, including heavy-duty OEMs like Lion.
“Now is the time to act if Canada wants to be a global leader in electrification.”
Unifor President Jerry Dias said the transition to an electric auto future won’t be easy, and will require strategic planning and active government policy across the new supply chain. His union represents workers in auto assembly, parts supply and the mining industry.
“Canada’s ZEV shift presents an historic opportunity to grow our auto industry and create a larger stable of good, union jobs,” he said.
Accelerate says other countries and jurisdictions such as the United States and Europe are jockeying to become leading global ZEV manufacturing hubs.
“Canada must adapt quickly to the rapidly changing industry landscape to ensure a just transition for existing automotive industry workers and create additional well-paying jobs in the sector,” the alliance said.