Canadian Plastics

NGen announces $40 million automotive zero-emissions manufacturing challenge

The supercluster to invest up to $20 million in R&D projects for battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.

August 12, 2021   Canadian Plastics

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced a call for projects as part of a new challenge program to position Canada for success in the global shift to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).

NGen will invest $20 million in projects with a 50 per cent industry match resulting in $40 million of new innovation spending.

The automotive industry is undergoing the most important transformation in its history as manufacturers and consumers shift to ZEVs. The North American production of traditional powertrain components is expected to decline significantly by 2030. Production of EV powertrain components, on the other hand, is expected to grow from $6B USD in 2019 to $26B USD in 2030, partially offsetting the losses in traditional components.

“Advanced manufacturing is the key to unlocking Canada’s potential in this globally competitive market,” says John Laughlin, CTO, NGen. “The new production capabilities must be the cutting edge, the most efficient, the highest quality and the greenest if we are to enter this market, gain share and stay competitive.”

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“Canada is poised to chart a new path in zero-emissions, advanced technology automobiles of the future,” said Flavio Volpe, president of Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA). “The NGen funding is another sharp arrow in the quiver of companies that have the people and ideas to lead us through 2035 and beyond.”

These opportunities fall into key categories such as:

  • ZEV Manufacturing. Perhaps the best way Canada can participate in this transportation and mobility revolution is through mandates to assemble ZEVs, including passenger vehicles, buses, and heavy trucks. These mandates have high economic impact and help secure large portions of the automotive supply chain.
  • ZEV Systems and Components. Canada is home to a well-developed automotive supply chain that features such globally competitive companies as Magna, Linamar, and Martinrea and hundreds of innovative SMEs capable of producing motors, power electronics, and other EV systems and components. Supporting these companies as they adopt the latest advanced manufacturing technologies to manufacture EV systems and components is critical.
  • Batteries. Canada has an opportunity to leverage its wealth of natural resources and knowledge to develop the world’s most environmentally, socially, and technologically advanced and vertically integrated EV battery supply chain. This ambition is getting under way through the collaborative efforts of mining companies, manufacturers, and a diverse network of other private and public sector stakeholders.

In the coming months, NGen also plans to release the findings from a collaborative study of the ZEV landscape in Canada done in conjunction with, Porsche Consulting, the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, and APMA. This study will help develop an understanding of the opportunities and risks associated with the transition to ZEVs. Moreover, and importantly, it will provide a roadmap and a timeline to help enable manufacturers in Canada to deploy advanced manufacturing technologies to capitalize on this revolution in transportation and play a leading role in the automotive industry of the future.


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