Automobility News: August 2023

We are thrilled to share with you the most recent announcements and developments in the Windsor-Essex region for the month of August. See below to read our top highlights.

NextStar Energy begins hiring spree for the Windsor-Essex battery plant

One of the biggest electric vehicle (EV) battery plants in the world, NextStar Energy, begins hiring workers for its Windsor-Essex battery plant in the month of August. The Windsor plant will directly employ 2,500 workers once fully operational in 2023. It is initially seeking 130 employees to start. Thirty people in finance, human resources and communications are needed for its Windsor headquarters, as well as a mix of 100 engineers and technicians. Applications for the positions are available on the company’s website or its social media pages.  

“NextStar Energy’s move to begin hiring workers for Canada’s first EV battery manufacturing plant is another example of Ontario’s growing momentum as a global leader in the electric vehicle revolution,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade. “The new facility will be a key part of our province’s end-to-end EV supply chain, creating 2,500 good-paying manufacturing jobs in Windsor and the surrounding region.” 

“We worked relentlessly to bring and keep the plant here in Windsor and firmly believe that these jobs are just the beginning of a prosperous economic future for our city and region. These well-paying jobs will create opportunities for the next generation of Windsorites.” Mayor Drew Dilkens. LEARN MORE

Meet Invest WindsorEssex’s Automobility and Innovation Program Manager, Mackenzie Habash

Mackenzie Habash is an accomplished tech professional and the Program Manager for the Windsor-Essex Regional Technology Development Site (WE RTDS) at the Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) Automobility and Innovation Centre. Mackenzie embarked on her journey at IWE as an Economic Policy Intern and quickly progressed to become the Grant Administrator upon her university graduation. Her pivotal role in securing the OVIN (Ontario Vehicle Innovation Centre) grant led to her current position as a Project Manager. 

Mackenzie’s role involves overseeing the WE RTDS programs, particularly those focused on automotive cybersecurity and collaborative initiatives within the RTDS network and Windsor-Essex automobility ecosystem. Additionally, she provides invaluable assistance to Ontario-based automobility start-ups, helping ensure they receive support to enhance their technological acceleration. 

Outside of her professional responsibilities, Mackenzie serves as a dedicated Special Projects Lead and Emerging Technologies Consultant for academic institutions. Her contributions span from conceptualizing new program ideas to creating impactful content on innovative teaching methods for professors.

Mackenzie’s advocacy extends to her active involvement with the Women in Mobility group, where she champions the cause of women in STEM and youth in technology. Beyond this, her volunteering efforts extend to initiatives like FIRST Robotics, Lego League, and Tech Challenge, where she passionately contributes to fostering the next generation of tech leaders. 

Mackenzie holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Windsor, complemented by a certificate in Big Data Analytics from York University. Contact Mackenzie:

The National Research Council of Canada launches EV battery life cycle inventory database

As the demand for electric vehicles grows, an increasing amount of EV batteries are reaching the end of their life. As a result, the National Research Council of Canada have launched a first-of-its-kind life cycle inventory dataset for EV battery recycling. The database is free to use and available to everyone.  

The database provides information on Spent LIBs, collection & transport, pretreatment, pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, regenerated materials and new LIBs. Windsor-Essex and Ontario businesses now have the proper knowledge on how to recycle EV batteries.  EXPLORE THE DATABASE

The 2023 Emerging Technologies in Automation Conference and Tradeshow is returning to Windsor-Essex

Coming to Caesars Windsor on Nov. 2, 2023 

Emerging Technologies in Automation Conference and Trade Show brings together international leaders in automation and technology, experts in advanced manufacturing, and supply chain purchasers. With over 350 attendees, 50 exhibitors and world-class presenters, this internationally recognized event is where inspiration, idea generation and innovation come together and shape future industry. 

Windsor-Essex is an international hub for automation with over 300 companies involved in the engineering, design and production of cutting-edge advanced manufacturing systems across many sectors (including automotive, agribusiness, aerospace, mobility and more). LEARN MORE

Windsor-Essex is driving future innovation

The Windsor-Essex Regional Technology Development Site (WE RTDS) is one of seven RTDS sites in Ontario, funded by the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) and the Ontario Center for Innovation (OCI). The WE RTDS provides free programs and services to companies working in automobility. The services range from products and software to assistance with R&D, business development and mentorship.   

The WE RTDS specializes in advanced simulation, virtual reality and automotive cybersecurity. The WE RTDS has three pillars of programs available for Ontario-based small and medium-sized enterprises. The programs are offered in collaboration with partners from the public and private sectors:  

IWE and OVIN Hub WE RTDS are here to help your business: 

  • Accelerate your product development, free of cost 
  • Access our one-of-a-kind ‘digital twin’ program 
  • Visualize your product in the IWE VR CAVE  


Autonomous vessels to aid Lake Erie fish survey

A wind-and-solar-powered surface vehicle with no crew, called Saildrone Explorer, operated by Saildrone Inc., launched July 14 out of Erie, Pa. Saildrone Explorer is equipped with environmental sensors under and above the water, including a fisheries echosounder that uses sound to detect fish, much like a fish-finder on a fishing boat. 

Saildrone Explorer will operate in Lake Erie’s western, central and eastern basins, circumnavigating the lake clockwise through the end of September. It’s the first time that a long-range wind-powered autonomous surface vehicle will be used on the lake. 

“This is what 21st Century science looks like, and it’s happening now here in the Great Lakes thanks to strong collaborative partnerships,” said Commissioner Jim McKane, chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The Windsor-Essex region continues to move toward future trends of using connected, autonomous and electric vehicles. READ MORE