All-Canadian. Zero-emissions. Autonomous. Meet Project Arrow.
Electric vehicles are on the rise around the world and with the rapid growth of EV manufacturing comes the opportunity for automotive innovation.
In a recent virtual event hosted by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Tony LaMantia, President & CEO of Waterloo EDC, and Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada (APMA) discussed Project Arrow, the new pan-Canadian electric vehicle project, and its implications for the automotive industry and business ecosystem in Waterloo.
Miss the event? We’re here to summarize the discussion and provide all the exciting details.
Project Arrow 101: What is it? Why is it important?
Project Arrow is a pan-Canadian electric vehicle project spearheaded by the APMA. It is the industry’s first all-Canadian, zero-emission concept vehicle and brings together the best of Canada’s electric-drive, alternative fuel, light-weight and autonomous technology. Volpe shared that the car is being designed, engineered and built by Canada’s world-class automotive supply sector and post-secondary institutions.
Project Arrow is, according to LaMantia, an inspirational challenge to all Canadians to continue to transform industries and create new technology platforms. This electric vehicle project is also an opportunity to bring together the capabilities of Canadian companies working in technology, systems design, hardware and software – all industries well-represented in the Waterloo ecosystem – to drive toward commercial success and an environmentally friendly future.
Project Arrow and a net-zero future
Project Arrow is ushering in a new, more environmentally conscious era of Canadian automotive manufacturing. Our world is speeding toward a net-zero emissions future and communities will depend on climate-friendly technology, such as Project Arrow.
“Project Arrow is engineering a new automotive generation,” said Volpe. “As we move from fossil fuels to electricity, our voltage capacity is going to make everything possible.”
Communities with extensive experience in automotive and technology industries – like Waterloo – will have a huge advantage.
“The time is now”: Project Arrow’s timeline
When asked about the level of urgency behind Project Arrow, LaMantia immediately said: “The time is now.” Not only is it important to stake an early leadership position, but the world needs innovative solutions to address climate change. LaMantia went on to explain that the intellectual property (IP), capacity for innovation, talent and brainpower currently in Canada’s manufacturing sector needs to be mobilized now to accomplish the project.
The first and second phases of Project Arrow (design selection, engineering specifications release and supplier RFP) have been completed. Phase 3 (design unveiling) is on track for 2022, and Phase 4 (concept car release and tour) is scheduled for 2023.
Project Arrow presents opportunities for Waterloo
With its strengths in automotive and technology industries, as well as an international reputation for research in autonomous vehicle technology and conservation methods such as light-weighting, Waterloo is a key stakeholder in Project Arrow’s success.
“Companies you might never consider as automotive suppliers are going to be a major part of the value proposition of future electric vehicles,” said Volpe.
Waterloo is exceptionally suited to innovate new solutions in the electric vehicle industry and the automotive manufacturing sector. LaMantia cited our capacity for research and development, strengths in quantum technologies and presence of exceptional talent. Waterloo is also home to a convergence of data science, robotics, automation and automotive suppliers.
“Waterloo is serious about inventing the future. Project Arrow is going to be a way for us to prove that,” said LaMantia.