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UOIT Awarded More Than $2.6-Million In Funding From Federal Government And GM Of Canada

Financial support will further advance research on electric vehicles with extended range capabilities. Electric vehicle research at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) received a substantial financial boost on February 12, 2010, as Minister of Industry Tony Clement announced a $1.2-million investment to improve electric vehicles with extended range capabilities (EV) as part of the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative. This is the first research project to be announced under the APC umbrella.

Funding for this project includes $763,340 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and $430,446 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Industry partner General Motors of Canada will also contribute $1.4-million, which includes cash and in-kind assistance including material and resource expertise over the life of the project. The total combined contribution is more than $2.6-million.

“Today is a great day for UOIT,” said Dr. Ronald Bordessa, president, UOIT. “This builds on the infrastructure funding received last year and is a significant investment in our future. It will allow us to take a leadership role in the training of next-generation automotive engineers who will be equipped with the skills to design the cars of the future. Our globally-experienced researchers are already hard at work on projects for the betterment of society and this funding will further enable them to revolutionize the automotive industry.”

The funding, awarded to Dr. Greg Rohrauer, assistant professor with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at UOIT and his co-applicants, will facilitate research that will further improve the function of HVAC systems in EV’s by advancing the thermal management system technology to extend vehicle travel range and provide longer lasting battery charge. Reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of the HVAC system will enable widespread commercialization of this technology.

“EV’s have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr. Greg Rohrauer, “On behalf of my colleagues I would like to thank NSERC, CFI and GM of Canada for their support in helping to make our research project a reality. We are very excited to work with the GM team on this project, which will put us at the forefront of the reinvention of the automotive powertrain.”

Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) is a five-year $145-million initiative to support significant, collaborative, industry-driven research and development that benefits the Canadian automotive industry.

“GM Canada is proud to be collaborating with researchers and students from UOIT to develop new and innovative solutions for electric vehicles with extended range capabilities,” says Neil Macdonald, vice-president, corporate affairs, GM Canada. “Like the Chevrolet Volt, this technology represents a promising new era in automotive transportation.”

UOIT’s research agenda is directly aligned to meet the needs of the federal and provincial research and innovation priorities in the areas of science and technology, climate change, health and the digital universe. UOIT’s five-year Strategic Research Plan focuses on five key research themes: Community and Social Wellness; Sustainable Energy; Applied Bioscience; Automotive, Materials and Manufacturing; and Information and Communication. All five are supported by funding from several federal and provincial granting agencies and foundations as well as private partnerships with organizations located in Durham Region and beyond.