OVIN receives $8 million in federal funding for two new pilot zones
Share Article
Read More
Feb 28, 2024
Mehanaz Yakub

The cities of Toronto and Windsor-Sarnia will be home to OVIN’s new $8-million pilot zones, serving as the live-testing ground for zero-emission and autonomous vehicle technologies

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), on behalf of the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), will oversee the two pilot sites in Toronto and Windsor-Sarnia.

Toronto and Windsor-Sarnia will be home to OVIN’s newest pilot zones, serving as live-testing grounds for zero-emission and autonomous vehicle technologies

The federal government is investing $8 million to create two live-environment pilot zones to support the development and commercialization of new zero-emission and connected/autonomous vehicle technologies.

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), on behalf of the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), will oversee the two pilot sites in Toronto and Windsor-Sarnia.

“The OVIN Technology Pilot Zones will be pivotal to the growth of purpose-driven, Ontario-made innovation while addressing the biggest transportation challenges facing Ontarians and driving Canada’s zero-emissions future,” says Raed Kadri, head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network, in a press statement.

The Toronto site will concentrate on urban transportation. The one in Windsor-Sarnia will address cross-border efficiencies and multimodal transportation challenges.

These sites join OVIN’s existing Demonstration Zones in Markham and Vaughan, which serve as platforms for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the province to experiment, trial, and exhibit innovations such as advancements in electric vehicles, integrated mobility solutions, robotics, and autonomous vehicle technologies in real-world scenarios.

The sites in Toronto and Windsor-Sarnia will help over 40 companies to pilot test in real-world environments, such as highways, cross-border sites and urban transportation settings. The aim is to break down the high barriers to entry and facilitate bringing technologies related to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and connected/autonomous vehicles (CAVs) to market.

The pilot zones are expected to create and maintain 345 jobs and help Canada achieve its net-zero emissions targets by 2050.

Southern Ontario EV hub

“Southern Ontario plays a vital role in driving economic growth, especially when it comes to CAV and EV-related innovation and production,” says Filomena Tassi, the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario in a press note.

The region of southern Ontario is a prominent hub for automotive manufacturing and innovation, attracting significant investment and talent to the area. Since 2015, the federal government, through FedDev Ontario, has allocated more than $64 million to 17 EV-related projects and created over 1,100 jobs in the sector.

The region is also home to the Stellantis battery plant in Windsor, Volkswagen/Power Co‘s Gigafactory in St. Thomas, General Motors‘ Brightdrop CAMI plant in Ingersoll, and Ford’s EV manufacturing hub in Oakville.

Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli told Electric Autonomy at the end of last year the province has attracted nearly $28 billion worth of automotive and battery investments.

He said he expects 2024 to be a “banner year” as suppliers start to onshore and scale near the battery plants.

“As the automotive sector continues to evolve, it is essential that (small and medium businesses) across Ontario are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to ensure their success,” says Fedeli in the press release about the OVIN pilot zones.

“The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network’s Technology Pilot Zones will play a key role in fostering innovation, economic growth and supporting job creation, allowing companies to take their cutting-edge electric and autonomous vehicle technologies to new heights.”

View Comments
You May Also Like
Sign up for the Electric Autonomy newsletter to get news, opinions and original journalism delivered straight to your inbox.
Electric Autonomy Canada is an independent news platform reporting on Canada’s transition to electric vehicles, autonomous transportation and new mobility services.
Copyright © 2024 – ArcAscent Inc. — Electric Autonomy Canada – All Rights Reserved - Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions
With the participation of the Government of Canada