Government of Canada invests in first made-in-Canada electric vehicle

News release

$5 million for the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to lead the development of connected, autonomous, zero-emission vehicles in Canada, creating 80 jobs and supporting 40 businesses

August 11, 2021 – Windsor, Ontario

As Canada moves closer to a zero emissions future, there is a growing need to manufacture and supply made-in-Canada solutions for our automotive sector. The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting the automotive sector to design and build the next generation of connected, autonomous and zero emissions vehicles in southern Ontario and accelerate the transition to a net zero emissions economy.

This is why today, the Government of Canada  announced a $5-million FedDev Ontario investment in the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA) to support Project Arrow, the automotive industry’s first Canadian-made, zero emission concept vehicle. Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, highlighted the regional impacts it will have in Windsor-Essex.

With a membership accounting for 90 percent of all independent automotive parts manufacturers in Canada, APMA will utilize its longstanding connections in the automotive manufacturing industry to bring together key industry and academic partners in southern Ontario to facilitate Project Arrow. The partners will work together to design, engineer and build a connected and autonomous zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) concept car and its digital twin, which will be used as a virtual platform for testing and validating connected and autonomous (CAV) technologies before they are integrated into the physical car.

FedDev Ontario’s investment in this project will support 80 jobs, leverage over $6.6 million in other funding, support at least 40 automotive suppliers and technology firms, and generate $50 million in additional investment.

The FedDev Ontario funded Virtual Reality CAVE at Invest WindsorEssex will be home to some of the key project activities surrounding the digital concept vehicle, which will be used as a virtual platform for testing and validating connected and autonomous (CAV) technologies before they are integrated into the physical car. The concept vehicle will also act as a blueprint for battery development and integration, tech transfer and intellectual property development.

The project will lead the transformation of Canada’s automotive sector from traditional fuel vehicle development to zero-emission vehicle development, showcasing the capabilities of the Canadian automobility and digital technology sectors to compete on the global stage. It will also help to create a robust electric vehicle supply chain in Canada, increasing Canada’s domestic electric vehicle development capacity in everything from electric powertrains and CAV systems to battery production.


“Windsor-Essex is capitalizing on this once-in-a-generation shift unfolding in the auto sector and the jobs that come with it, positioning our region as the automobility capital of Canada. With FedDev Ontario support, APMA is leading the charge to accelerate Canada’s transition to a net zero future.”     
Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh

“Cutting transportation emissions is one of the most achievable and beneficial steps Canada can take to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Today’s investment showcases the advanced skills of the Canadian automotive and digital technology sectors, and puts southern Ontario at the forefront of technology development for zero emission and connected and autonomous vehicles. Canada can compete on the global stage and win.”
The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King–Vaughan  

“Our government is working hard to ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener and more prosperous. Investments like the one made today in Project Arrow is advancing our country’s shift toward electrification in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, a critical step towards reaching the government’s goal of accelerating Canada’s net zero emissions future.” 
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“This lighthouse project is highlighting hundreds of advanced technology companies around the world and will serve as the calling card for the next generation of leadership in Canadian zero emissions mobility.”
- Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association

“On behalf of the team at Invest WindsorEssex, and as the official Simulation partner for Project Arrow, we are thrilled about today’s funding announcement for APMA. Thanks to FedDev Ontario for supporting this extraordinary project and helping to showcase the talent and expertise that exists in our region as so many companies participate in the development of the vehicle. We look forward to our continued partnership with APMA as the vehicle comes to life both virtually and physically.”
Ed Dawson, Senior Manager, Automobility and Innovation Centre

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1952, APMA represents OEM producers of parts, equipment, tools, advanced technology and services for the worldwide automotive industry. In 2018, APMA’s automotive parts shipments were over $35 billion and the industry employment level was more than 100,000 people. 

  • Automobility refers to the secure, zero-emission movement of people, goods and services using advanced information technologies. It includes emerging automotive technologies, such as electric, autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as related enabling sectors such a cyber security.

  • Today’s announcement aligns with Canada’s commitment to decarbonizing the country's transportation sector and becoming a global leader in ZEVs. As such, the Government of Canada is aiming for 100% of new light-duty sales to be zero-emission by 2035.  

  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $82 million in 93 projects in the Essex census division, including a $7.5 million investment in Invest WindsorEssex, to support Canada’s first automobility accelerator, with a focus on electric vehicles, CAVs and cyber security firms, to help entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of these technologies as well as the VR Cave.

  • The Government of Canada is setting a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be zero-emission by 2035, accelerating Canada’s previous goal.

  • Through the recently announced Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, Jobs and Growth Fund, Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative and Tourism Relief Fund, Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery in the region. Application intake for these programs is now open in southern Ontario through FedDev Ontario.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages  

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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