The federal government will invest $5 million in the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association’s Project Arrow, an all-Canadian, all-electric autonomous concept vehicle designed to showcase the country’s auto expertise to the world.
It’s not immediately clear how the APMA will spend the non-repayable financial contribution from FedDev Ontario, which delivers programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario.
The agency said in a statement the investment will support 80 jobs, leverage more than $6.6 million in other funding, support at least 40 automotive suppliers and technology firms, and generate $50 million in additional investment.
“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,” APMA President Flavio Volpe said in a statement.
Project Arrow was born after Volpe heard Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s throne speech two years ago, when he called on the country to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The APMA named Project Arrow as an homage to the Avro Arrow program of the 1950s.
“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,” Minister of Economic Development Mélanie Joly said in the same statement.
Both the APMA and federal government believe the project will lead the transformation of Canada’s automotive sector from traditional gasoline vehicle development to the development of zero-emissions vehicles, showcasing the capabilities of the Canadian auto, mobility and digital technology sectors.
It will also help to create a robust electric vehicle supply chain in Canada, increasing the country’s domestic electric vehicle development capacity in everything from electric powertrains and connected- and autonomous-vehicle systems to battery production, the government says.
Volpe previously told The Automotive News Canada Podcast that the APMA is in the process of selecting suppliers and negotiating with them on terms and scope.
“And we are planning to pick the engineering by this fall and then start to get building on the vehicle for 2022.”