Automobility News: July 2023

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

Government of Canada supports EV sector in Windsor-Essex

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, along with Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh, announced a $200,000-investment for Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) to support the long-term growth of the electric vehicle (EV) sector in the Windsor-Essex region. 

Windsor-Essex and its surrounding communities are at the forefront of this new chapter for southern Ontario’s automotive sector. The shift towards EV and battery manufacturing is opening many new opportunities for existing suppliers in the region to meet the demand for parts and technologies that are essential for the production of EVs. It is also demonstrating to foreign businesses that southern Ontario, with its skilled workforce, is the best destination to support the expansion of the automotive industry.  

With this investment, IWE will help prepare 120 southern Ontario businesses to participate in the growing EV market. They will do this by identifying and preparing for new supply chain opportunities and building their workforces. IWE will develop and deliver at least eight new training workshops over the next two years. READ MORE

Invest WindsorEssex and NGen Canada host the Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Value Chain Program webinar

On July 26, NGen, together with Invest WindsorEssex, hosted a webinar for existing companies and companies looking to invest in Windsor-Essex’s automotive manufacturing and innovation ecosystem through the Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Value Chain Program (EVMP). 

Participants learned about: 

  • NGen’s EVMP program
  • Why companies should invest in Windsor-Essex
  • The resources and services that Invest WindsorEssex has to offer 
  • NGen Canada is co-investing up to $95 million, together with industry, in collaborative, transformative, business-led projects through EVMP. The call-for-projects targets the scale-up and commercialization of transformative, made-in-Canada manufacturing technologies capabilities across Canada’s EV value chains – from the refining of critical minerals to the manufacturing of batteries and electric motors and assembly of vehicles. 

Known as North America’s manufacturing powerhouse, Windsor-Essex is a well-known leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing across different sectors. Parts suppliers and mold makers across the region are at the forefront of using innovative technology to remain competitive in a changing global marketplace. LEARN MORE

Meet IWE’s Lead Engineer of VR and Simulation Services, Akash Charuvila

Akash Charuvila is an experienced automotive professional and engineering lead at Invest WindsorEssex’s Automobility and Innovation Centre (AIC). With over 11 years of experience in the industry, he has led new product development for global OEMs, including Ford Motor Company and Mahindra & Mahindra.

In his current role, Akash provides technical guidance to both industry and academia in the autonomous, connected and electric vehicle sectors. He is particularly focused on advising Ontario-based SMEs and startups on digital twins and simulation for EV and CAV product development. As the lead of engineering activities at Invest WindsorEssex, Akash oversees Canada’s largest publicly accessible Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE. This state-of-the-art technology enables SMEs to simulate real-world scenarios and accurately model virtual sensor and vehicle dynamics. 

Akash was also a core team member of Project Arrow, Canada’s first zero-emission concept vehicle, and was involved in the vehicle architecture and engineering design. Akash holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MG University in India.

NGen Canada launches Canada’s zero-emission vehicle supply chain map

NGen Canada, Accelerate, Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing and Electric Autonomy partner in the development of an interactive map to highlight activity across Canada’s emerging zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) supply chain. 

The ZEV map reflects all the layers of Canada’s supply chain, encompassing mining activities to battery cell manufacturing and battery recycling to charging system manufacturing. It tracks the evolution of Canada’s ZEV supply chain year-over-year since 2016. It gives a visualization of the “Zero to Hero” journey Canada is on. This tool will also allow companies to find each other upstream and down and can lead to greater business-to-business collaboration. 

In addition to regular updates on the industries and sectors already represented, the intention is to expand the supply chain components to include R&D and talent, power generation infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cell fuelling centres and, perhaps, even the carbon footprint of each supply chain component. Companies wishing to appear on the map may contact EXPLORE THE MAP HERE.

Tech talent on the rise in Windsor-Essex

Canada welcomed more than 32,000 tech workers over the past 12 months with Windsor-Essex emerging as the area with the highest migration growth in tech occupations.  

The Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) andCanada’s Tech Network (CTN) released “Tech Workforce Trends: The Migration of Tech Workers and Tech Jobs Since The Pandemic,” a new report exploring globalization and migration of tech occupations in Canada. The findings highlight that between April 2022 and March 2023, 32,115 new workers came to Canada with the most migrating from India and Nigeria. This move is due largely in part to a more immigration-friendly national policy and a labor cost advantage.  

Ontario boasts the largest number of tech workers within the country and Windsor-Essex has seen the highest growth in tech workers over the past year (28%), followed by Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Timmins, Ontario. This shift is reflective of broader workforce trends, with largely remote tech workers moving away from major metropolitan areas toward more rural locations. The large migration of tech workers also fills the need for skilled workers amid an ongoing global talent shortage and points to a hopeful and prosperous future for Canada’s tech occupation workforce. LEARN MORE