The Government of Canada is awarding a total of $18.2 million to two companies that have developed innovations with the potential to make cars lighter, more fuel efficient and, in the case of electric cars, better performing due to a longer battery life.
Astrex Inc. of Lakeshore will receive a repayable contribution of up to $17 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency’s (FedDev Ontario) Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The investment will enable Astrex, a manufacturer of auto parts, to establish a facility that produces lightweight, high-strength aluminum components. The parts manufactured at this plant will reduce fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions.
Astrex is a joint venture between Ontario-based CanArt Aluminum Extrusion Inc. (CanArt), and the Netherlands-based multinational Constellium N.V. (Constellium). CanArt is a privately-held company that produces a wide range of aluminum products and employs 375 people. Constellium is a leading European company that produces aluminum products for the automotive industry, with 22 facilities and 11,000 employees worldwide.
Another $1.2 million in a non-repayable contribution will go to GBatteries Energy Canada Inc. of Ottawa. The funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund, which funds clean-technology projects, will allow the company to develop longer lasting batteries for electric cars. The battery system would also recharge much more quickly than existing ones.
In this project, GBatteries will be working with two consortium partners, eCAMION and S&C Electric Canada Ltd., to implement and demonstrate an Active Battery Management System (ActiveBMS), a charging technology for application with electric vehicles.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada is providing $1,185,000 towards GBatteries to assist them in implementing and demonstrating the Active Battery Management System (ActiveBMS). This is an innovative technology that will enhance battery life and increase battery charging rates by at least six times over conventional methods.
ActiveBMS is designed to stifle lithium-ion battery degradation mechanisms, such as growth of the SEI layer, anode cracking, and temperature growth by continuously adapting bursts of energy during the charging process. This unlocks new functionality within the battery, without altering how the battery is manufactured—only how it’s controlled inside of an electrical device.
GBatteries is embarking on a project to demonstrate and implement its innovative technology that will allow a battery to be charged 50% in five minutes and 80% in 10 minutes. The charging speed will be of particular use in electric vehicles, as this technology has the potential to reduce charging times to the time it takes to fill up traditional fuel tanks. This technology has the potential to move electric vehicles into the mainstream of consumer purchasing options.