Automobility News: May 2024

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

Historic unified Gordie Howe Bridge deck nearing completion

Photo Credit: The Windsor Star

Anticipation has been mounting over the past month on the completion of the unified Gordie Howe International Bridge. The Canadian and American sides of the Gordie Howe International Bridge deck are now just a few metres apart. This significant milestone, involving a $6-billion investment, is expected to be linked by the end of June when the bridge deck will be finalized and connected over the Detroit River span. After more than 2,000 days and over 10-million hours of work, the coordination and effort from both sides of the border has been tremendous and has heightened public excitement, as expressed on social media. While connecting the deck may be a significant achievement, there is still a massive amount of work to be done before the planned opening of the bridge next year, with an anticipated completion date of September 2025.  

This monumental project will not only be a symbol of unity but will deliver much-needed transportation improvements for international trade and travellers, as well provide job opportunities and economic growth for the Windsor-Detroit region. READ MORE

Windsor company leads the charge in EV batteries

Windsor-Essex continues to lead the charge as Canada’s fastest-growing electric vehicle (EV) supply chain and innovator in next-generation vehicle production. Invest WindsorEssex’s Business Retention and Expansion team, client Flex-N-Gate, a tier-one manufacturer, has opened up vast new opportunities collaborating with StoreDot through Windsor’s Flex-Ion Battery Innovation Centre. StoreDot just announced the successful demonstration in the implementation of their Extreme Fast Charging (XFC) technology in a car for the first time, which is positive news for the region. This technology will allow EV vehicle batteries to charge in mere minutes, marking the world’s first demonstration of a 10-minute extreme-fast charge using silicon-dominant cells in an actual drivable vehicle. This innovative technology aims to provide drivers with the convenience of faster EV charging, especially on longer journeys, with hopes that their experience will be more akin to refueling a petrol vehicle, allowing them to get back on the road sooner. READ MORE

Ontario secures the largest battery storage procurement in Canada’s history to meet growing electricity demands

The Ontario government has completed the largest battery storage procurement in Canada’s history to secure enough electricity generation to support the province’s growing population and economy through the end of 2030. This milestone will provide a foundation to support Ontario’s electricity grid and facilitate the development of emerging technologies. It will also play a pivotal role in attracting new investments through clean energy, particularly in large-scale manufacturing projects. With over $43 billion in automotive investments secured over the last four years, Ontario continues to lead in the global production and development of electric vehicles, batteries and battery materials. As the province strives to meet growing energy demands and reduce emissions by expanding Ontario’s reliable, affordable, and clean grid, this procurement represents a positive stride toward the implementation of the Powering Ontario’s Growth plan. READ MORE

Ontario exploring options to lower electricity rates for public electric vehicle (EV) chargers

Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Todd Smith has asked the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to explore options for an Electric Vehicle Charger Discount Electricity Rate as the province continues to support the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across its rapidly changing landscape. With a federal mandate approaching, whereby 20 per cent of all new car sales in Canada must be EVs by 2026, the proposed new rate would reduce the cost of electricity for public EV chargers in areas where demand for the service is beginning to emerge. This rate would allow for more cost-effective charging stations to be built in more communities, encouraging Ontario drivers to transition to electric vehicles with greater confidence. Ontario recently extended its $5,000 EV rebate program for consumers until 2027, providing an added incentive for drivers. Starting this month, public consultations through the Ontario Energy Board on the new Electric Vehicle Charger Discount Rate are underway, asking the public for feedback with plans to make the new rates available to public EV charging providers by Jan. 1, 2026. READ MORE

Automotive and mining industries unite for battery electric vehicle conferences

Our Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Windsor-Essex Regional Technology Development Site (WE RTDS), led by the Invest WindsorEssex (IWE) team, had an incredible opportunity to participate at Mining Transformed powered by NORCAT, to learn about the innovative mining sector in Sudbury, Ontario, and its connection to the future of automobility. The team got the chance to experience a technology exhibition in an operating underground mine that brought together visionary startups and attendees from around the world highlighting groundbreaking innovations. While in Sudbury, they also attended this year’s ‘BEV In-Depth: Mines to Mobility’ conference, where they were inspired by informative panel discussions, keynote speakers and enjoyed test driving a few new EVs at the live EV vehicle exhibition. READ MORE

Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association opening permanent office in Windsor for the first time

Photo credit: University of Windsor

The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) is opening a permanent office at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) at the University of Windsor. This marks the first time in APMA’s 72-year history to open an office outside of Toronto. APMA is Canada’s national association representing OEM producers of parts, equipment, tools, supplies, advanced technology and services for the global automotive industry. This new office will serve as a hub for the industry for collaboration, research and development and will fortify the training of next-generation leaders in the Windsor-Essex region. The on-campus hub will offer direct access to current and relevant industry information, and in addition, the University can provide a steady pipeline of new talent of graduating students, essential for supporting the progress of the automotive sector. Having local representation and a partnership in Windsor-Essex is a significant step. It demonstrates a commitment to effectively represent automotive suppliers, nurture growth and innovation along with opportunities to strengthen advocacy and networking throughout the region. READ MORE