The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) of Canada has designed a prototype electric and autonomous vehicle called Project Arrow, which looks futuristic and sleek.
The vehicle was created in response to the Canadian federal government’s mandate to phase out gas-powered cars over the next few decades. According to the government’s plans, by 2026, 20% of new cars sold in Canada will be pollution-free, and that number will increase to 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
APMA aimed to create the first made-in-Canada electric vehicle using input and parts from over 50 Canadian suppliers, even though Canada is not known for car manufacturing. The vehicle’s design features include a touchscreen steering wheel with a heart rate monitor that can detect if the driver has a medical emergency, a solar panel on the roof that charges an auxiliary battery, speakerless surround-sound audio, and a 3D-printed chassis made of polymer and metal.
Four students at Carleton University designed the car with government grants and contributions from parts makers. The vehicle was recently revealed at the 2023 Canadian International Auto Show.
The next step for Project Arrow is to transport the prototype to Atlanta for testing. After that, car companies can choose which aspects of the technology they want to use for their vehicles.
According to Flavio Volpe, the head of APMA, the vehicle could benefit car companies, as they can mix and match their preferred features.
“You want to build a pickup truck. Great,” Volpe said. “You can do a zero-emission pickup truck. If you want to do a sports car, this thing’s got 550 horsepower. Make it smaller; that thing will be your Maserati. No problem.”
Although the vehicle is not yet commercially available, all its technical components are available. According to Volpe, this could be helpful for car companies, allowing them to customize their vehicles according to their preferences.
Project Arrow represents a significant step forward in the Canadian automotive industry’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Although not yet commercially available, the prototype’s futuristic design, innovative features, and use of Canadian-made parts highlight the country’s potential as a hub for electric vehicle production.
With the government’s plans to phase out gas-powered cars in the coming decades, initiatives like Project Arrow demonstrate Canada’s readiness to embrace a cleaner, more sustainable automotive future.