Automobility News: February 2024

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

Empowering Windsor-Essex students with an extension of the Future Mobility Challenge

Students across the region have a new opportunity to gain crucial insights and experiences through real-world views of careers in mobility. On March 26, Navigating the Future: Mobility and Emerging Technologies event, an extension of the Future Mobility Challenge and powered by OVIN, the WE RTDS, Invest WindsorEssex and WEtech Alliance will bring together young innovators, secondary students and classrooms for a vibrant discussion on the future of mobility. Young minds can explore the evolving landscape of transportation and technology, shaping the way we move tomorrow. Join us with keynote and tech expert, Amber Mac, for a fireside chat and gain career insights from Optimotive founder, Scott M. Fairley for a working in Automobility Lightning discussion. REGISTER

Ontario making it easier to build electric vehicle (EV) charging stations

The Government of Ontario is taking steps to make it easier to build and connect new public electric vehicle (EV) chargers throughout the province. Starting May 27, 2024, local utilities will have access to a streamlined process and support for implementing electric vehicle charging stations. This move signifies an important step the province is making toward ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place for drivers in urban areas, including rural and northern communities. Hundreds of charging stations are already operational across the province (view map), but by streamlining processes for connecting new EV charging stations, the demand for EVs can be better supported. It is expected that more than one-million EVs, both battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) will be on the road in Ontario by 2030. Through these efforts, the province is committed to building a sustainable, world-class grid. READ MORE

$8-million automobility pilot project announced

This month at the Canadian International AutoShow, the Hon. Filomena Tassi, minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDevOntario), and Vance Badawey, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transport, announced an investment of $8 million for the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN). This will support the establishment of two world-class automotive and mobility technology piloting sites, with one location in Toronto focusing on urban transportation and the other in Windsor/Sarnia focusing on cross-border and multi-modal scenarios. These live-testing sites will act as a launch pad for over 40 SMEs as they pilot and commercialize over 40 new technologies, to help fill a gap in Canada’s market for CAV and ZEV, creating new jobs and helping to better reach the target of net-zero emissions. READ MORE 

Ed Dawson, interim executive director for the IWE Automobility and Innovation Centre is thrilled that the Windsor-Essex RTDS can support these projects by providing access to a digital twin of a border crossing and assisting companies in developing their technologies.

How far can an electrical vehicle (EV) actually go with range?

Now that Canada has mandated all vehicles sold in the country by 2035 must have zero emissions to achieve the national target, consumers may be wondering how far can their electric vehicle go.  The adoption of this new technology is bringing consumers ‘range anxiety’, a term coined due to apprehension about the reliability and capabilities of electric vehicles (EVs). The promising news is that EVs can go the distance, with ranges varying from just over 100 km to others reaching over 800 km.  Not only are EVs going the distance, but Canada is also increasing its charging stations from a network of approximately 9,700 in 2023 with targets to support 84,500 charging stations by 2029. This vast network will provide consumers with peace of mind, knowing that they can rely on convenient charging infrastructure for their daily commutes and road trips. It not only offers a practical choice for sustainable transportation but also provides more confidence in their ability to travel without worrying about running out of power. READ MORE

Leaders Driving the Smart Mobility Revolution

International Women’s Week is a powerful driver to celebrate women’s achievements. Each year on March 8, organizations join forces to amplify the goal of equipping, inspiring and empowering more women globally. Women Driving the Smart Mobility Revolution, an International Women’s Month (IWM) virtual event will take center stage this year with expertise in self-driving AI, drones and advanced robotics hosted by Area X.O at Bayview Yards, operated by Invest Ottawa, and Women in Automotive Tech (Silicon Valley), in partnership with Rogers, and the IWM 2024 title sponsor, BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund. Now’s your chance to gain a profound understanding of the current state of smart mobility, key opportunities, challenges, evolving markets and investment trends while delving into discussions from award-winning experts and visionary innovators. READ MORE AND REGISTER.

Transmission line between Essex County and Chatham-Kent ahead of schedule

According to Hydro One, the construction of the 400-megawatt hydro transmission line between Essex County and Chatham-Kent is moving along rapidly and could be done a year ahead of schedule. The development of this project commenced in 2020 and entered the construction phase in the spring of 2023. This projected $253-million investment aims to increase the reliability and resiliency of the entire electricity network in the Windsor-Essex region. This line will provide clean electricity to the region, supporting economic growth in agri-foods, clean energy supply chain and manufacturing. It will also include power to support Windsor’s EV plant, with expected targets of 2,000 megawatts to be reached by 2035. READ MORE