Two Canadian companies have developed innovations with potential to make cars more fuel efficient and, in the case of electric cars, better performing due to a longer battery life.
The government of Canada has invested in both firms because these innovations “lead to good, well-paying jobs for the middle class and business opportunities for Canadians working in the automotive sector.”
Astrex of Lakeshore will receive a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The investment will enable Astrex to establish a facility that produces lightweight, high-strength aluminum components. The company plans to create 62 new full-time jobs this year.
“At Astrex, we have created a facility at the leading edge of aluminum extrusion technology and with the support of the Government of Canada, we are proud to be able to create more manufacturing jobs in the Windsor area,” Mark Blackmore, General Manager.
$1.2 million in a non-repayable contribution will go to GBatteries Energy of Ottawa. The funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund, which funds clean-technology projects, will allow the company to develop longer lasting batteries for electric cars.
“The electrification revolution is moving full speed ahead,” said Tim Sherstyuk, GBatteries CEO. “Electrical vehicles are on a path to replace conventional cars.”
Canada’s automotive industry is a driver of the economy, representing 10 percent of manufacturing GDP and 13 percent of total merchandise exports. Canada produces about 14 percent of all vehicles assembled in North America; a vehicle rolls off a Canadian assembly line roughly every 14 seconds.
“The investments made today in Astrex and GBatteries will lead to new products and services that are more energy efficient, emit lower carbon emissions and promote healthier communities,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “The investments will give middle-class Canadians working in the auto sector the opportunity to design and build the cars of the future.
The automotive industry employs 125,000 Canadians directly and another 398,700 indirectly.