The Toronto Region is not only electric in atmosphere, but transportation as well. Canada as a whole is diving headfirst into building more sustainable transportation methods for the good of the planet and the Toronto Region is leading the way by investing in a robust electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.
Canada’s energy is 82.5 percent emission-free, double that of the United States and 20 points better than the European Union. However, transportation still accounts for 25 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Ontario’s proportion of CO2 emissions generated from electricity has declined from 17 percent to 2 percent in a 15-year period, and the province is taking steps to continue this momentum. As part of the federal 2023 budget, The Government of Canada unveiled a $120 billion clean economy plan.
At the centre of it all is the Toronto Region. EV companies in the Toronto Region leverage an end-to-end EV supply chain to easily source talent, materials, and facilities to create an electric vehicle. What the Toronto Region lacks in quantity of minerals, we make up for in high-tech research and development facilities, an abundance of skilled talent, and a strong supply chain connecting companies to manufacturing facilities across the country.
With the recent announcement from the Government of Ontario that strengthens the trade relationship between Ontario and Michigan, the Toronto Region continues to grow its ties with major EV manufacturing hubs across Canada and internationally. You could build an electric bus from beginning to end right here in the Toronto Region.
The quality and size of manufacturers in the Toronto Region is another major contributor to the strength of the industry. EV companies in the Toronto Region have access to a community of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that choose to stay due to the high volume of EV companies, as well as government incentives. Each OEM’s presence creates a snowball effect that only builds a stronger EV sector for companies in the Toronto Region.
Magna International recently expanded its Brampton, Ontario facility. This expansion includes a new 490,000 square-foot facility to manufacture battery enclosures for electric vehicles in Brampton, supporting the Ford F-150 Lightning and other future OEM programs. Ford’s presence in the Toronto Region was a key factor in Magna’s expansion.
Autonomous vehicles are the future of electric mobility and Tesla’s automation manufacturing facility in Markham, Ontario is making the Toronto Region a major player in this fast-growing field. “Tesla Toronto Automation” has scaled up production of machinery for battery cell production by expanding their facility to 110,000 square-feet.
The world-leading automotive manufacturing corporation, Stellantis, invested $3.4B in its Brampton and Windsor plants to increase EV production. Stellantis’ Brampton plant is recognized globally, having received the World Class Manufacturing award. Additionally, Stellantis’ Windsor branch creates an easy and quick supply chain solution to one of Northern Ontario’s mineral hubs.
Nova Bus and New Flyer
The electrification of public transportation is top of mind in the Toronto Region and Canadian corporations Nova Bus and New Flyer are helping us get there. The City of Toronto is set to shift to all zero-emission Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicle procurement by 2025 and to have a 100 percent zero-emission fleet by 2040. The TTC operates one of the largest electric bus fleets in North America and the electrification of this fleet will make a sizeable dent in the country’s overall emissions. The Government of Canada supports this mission by allocating $140M in funding toward the procurement of electric buses and building infrastructure for EV charging. Nova Bus is located in Montreal, Quebec and New Flyer in Winnipeg, Manitoba – demonstrating the strong interprovincial supply chain operating within the Toronto Region.
Spotlight on York Region
The local EV research and development sector in the Toronto Region is constantly growing. In July 2023, York Region announced the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) is launching an “OVIN Demonstration Zone” in partnership with the City of Vaughan and the City of Markham. The OVIN Demonstration Zone will provide support to SMEs, while testing critical technologies in the autonomous vehicle space. York Region’s incubator VentureLab is also home to one of the OVIN Regional Technology Development Sites. With the new Demonstration Zone, York Region has two strong assets that add tremendous value to EV and autonomous vehicle developers.
“Ontario has emerged as a leader on the global stage as the automotive and mobility sector undergoes a transformation towards connected, autonomous and electric vehicles,” said Raed Kadri, Head of OVIN. “Through the launch of the OVIN Demonstration Zone, we are inviting the world to come see all that Ontario has to offer, from the wealth of critical minerals in Northern Ontario, to the manufacturing strength of Southern Ontario, and everywhere in between.”
EV innovation is popping up at every turn thanks to the strong ecosystem built by world-renowned transportation companies and generous incentives from both the provincial and federal governments. EV is the future of mobility and the Toronto Region’s EV supply chain is future-proof, ensuring that EV software and hardware companies have the resources they need to succeed.