Opinion: How Ontario is driving the future of the EV sector globally

By Wheels Wheels.ca

Feb 14, 2022 3 min. read

Article was updated 3 months ago

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Ontario is Canada’s manufacturing powerhouse and has been a leader in the automotive sector for more than 100 years. Our established industrial clusters in the automotive, manufacturing and technology sectors – coupled with highly skilled talent, and a supportive government – are the best in the world.

As the automotive sector transforms through technology – electric, connected and automated – we are poised to lead this transformation and fuel it with made-in-Ontario solutions that will power the future of the sector.

Our Ontario-based innovators and entrepreneurs are unrivalled. Our industrial clusters are forces to be reckoned with, and our government gets it.

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), a flagship initiative led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation and the provincial government, is bridging our strengths and co-ordinating our efforts to make sure that local companies export their technologies and Ontario-made solutions across the world.

We’re not stopping there.

Ontario has proven its theory – if we nurture and support the companies in our province to commercialize the technologies that will shape the future of the sector, those same companies will test and pilot their solutions right here at home. That way, we can drive adoption and deployment for the benefit of our roads, infrastructure, transit and transportation systems. This ensures that we not only reap the economic advantages of this transformation, but we are also able to profit from the social and environmental benefits: increased safety, accessibility and productivity, just to name a few.

As electrification starts to take hold of the sector, we in Ontario are doing what we have done before, rallying and leveraging our strengths to bridge the gaps between technology and policy. By supporting our innovators, entrepreneurs and established small and medium-sized enterprises to pursue innovation, we can encourage Ontario companies to commercialize new technologies and think globally.


As battery technology is rapidly evolving, the race is on to develop, manufacture and supply increasingly more powerful and longer lasting batteries. The next few years will be crucial to any jurisdiction that wants to lead this revolution in electrification. That is why we in Ontario are ramping up our efforts to meet this demand and utilizing all the ingredients at our disposal, including access to the critical minerals required to build EV batteries. Northern Ontario is rich with the resources – some say higher grade than anywhere else in the world – that will fuel this battery revolution.

We know how important it is to remove the barriers faced by investors and pitch in to help our companies commercialize the made-in-Ontario solutions in the connected, autonomous and smart mobility space. We want to ensure that we continue to drive the transformation of technology and that our companies power the future movement of people and goods.

Ontario has proven that we are ripe for investment. Automakers are doubling down in our province and have committed to building the vehicles of the future. Our award-winning facilities, coupled with one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world, ensures we are poised to rise to the top. We get manufacturing – it’s what we do.

We have also made it easy to export goods around the world with 14 free trade agreements that cover 51 countries. We continue to work with the industry to shape our policies and regulations, with the goal of making Ontario the No. 1 jurisdiction for any company to do business and to thrive.

Ontario is all in. We have a plan. We are working together.

Our government is supportive. Our resolve is unparalleled and our ingenuity, unchallenged. The next few years will define the future of the sector. And we in Ontario are making sure that our jurisdiction and our companies are the center of the automotive sector globally.

If you’re not shaping the future of your company and your technology in Ontario – it’s time to enquire within. We are open for business.

Raed Kadri is the vice-president of strategic initiatives and head of the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network. Follow the network on social media @OvinHub