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Exro signs MOU with global automotive supplier

IMAGE: Exro logo
Courtesy Exro Technologies Inc.

Calgary-based Exro Technologies Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a strategic partnership with an undisclosed global supplier to the automotive industry.

According to a release, the supplier is headquartered in Europe with over 25,000 employees worldwide.

The partnership will move to a definitive agreement once the performance of Exro’s (EXRO-T) standard L040 800V Coil Driver inverter for electric vehicles is proven satisfactory with the partner's motors.

The same Coil Driver had previously been used in a strategic partnership with Linamar.

Prototype samples are expected in Q3 2023.

The intent is to develop next-generation power trains for electric commercial vehicles and off-highway applications in Europe and North America.

The driver utilizes coil switching — the ability to switch electric motor configurations while in use, to maximize speed and torque. That concept is not new, but most electric vehicle models require multiple motors and gearboxes, while the Coil Driver eliminates that requirement.

Exro CEO Sue Ozdemir said in a statement she could not disclose the identity of the company's new partner due to "industry conditions today with companies being sensitive of existing supply chains and protective of new relationships for competitive reasons."

The partner is a "leading technology provider to the automotive industry as well as major off-highway applications," which Ozdemir said is a validation of its technology and potential to scale across multiple platforms.

“With both companies’ core values directly aligned in a commitment to sustainability, we look forward to revealing our new partner in the near future and building a successful relationship that translates into significant value for our customers and our shareholders.”  

Canadian government announces EV charger funding

The Canadian government announced nearly $19 million in funding for the installation of up to 2,416 electric vehicle chargers, over 1,880 of which will be installed across Greater Vancouver. The B.C. government, through its CleanBC Go Electric Program, also provided $2.2 million toward Level 3 public chargers in the province.

This funding was provided to 26 projects including municipalities, multiresidential buildings, businesses and utilities. Among them is the Vancouver airport.

"We know that our passengers' needs and expectations are changing as EV adaptation increases across our region. We are always working hard to anticipate and exceed these expectations and provide world-class amenities at our airport. We are grateful to have found partners at all levels of government as we take bold action to become the world's greenest airport,” Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority, said in a statement on the funding.

“Not only will this critical funding support us as we work to complete the electrification of our airport operations, but it will help us in our role supporting the mutual needs of our business partners related to climate action."

Martinrea acquires Effenco assets

Global automotive supplier Martinrea International Inc. has acquired Montreal's Effenco Development Inc., which designs, manufactures and markets technologies for the electrification and connectivity of heavy duty vocational trucks.

“We are very pleased with this acquisition. Effenco aligns with our vision, mission, and corporate strategy and, with Martinrea’s manufacturing and supply chain expertise, we expect to be able to grow the business and bring further value to our customers,” Pat D’Eramo, president and CEO of Martinrea said in a statement.

“We welcome the members of the Effenco team to our Martinrea family.”

According to a release, Effenco’s hybrid-electric solution – via unique ultracapacitor technology – can augment the powertrain and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, engine usage hours, fuel consumption, noise pollution and related maintenance.

In 2022, the company was selected as part of the global Cleantech 100.

Vaughan, Ont.-based Martinrea (MRE-T) employs approximately 18,000 at more than 58 manufacturing, engineering and technical centres in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, China, South Africa and Japan.

CUTRIC creates zero-emission bus initiative

The non-profit Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) has announced a spinoff aimed at supporting Canadian public transit agencies in procuring turn-key zero-emission technologies.

The Canadian Urban Transit Zero Emissions Bus joint procurement initiative (CUTZEB) will include battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, charging and hydrogen fuelling systems.

“We knew that transit agencies wanting to electrify their fleets didn’t just want buses or chargers, but turn-key solutions — the buses, the chargers, the installation, the maintenance and everything in between. They wanted all of that in a package that could be delivered by a consortium, which is where the idea for CUTZEB emerged,” Josipa Petrunic, president and CEO of CUTRIC and CUTZEB, said in a statement.

“Now, with CUTRIC and CUTZEB working synergistically, we can ensure there is comprehensive support behind transit agencies and municipalities to undertaking zero emission bus (ZEB) electrification and planning studies, and therefore getting one step close to reaching zero-emission fleet goals.”

The Canadian government aims to reach 5,000 zero emission buses in operation by 2026. CUTZEB plans to complete multiple rounds of joint procurements in order to help hit that target.

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