An Arrow aimed at tomorrow: How to build your own electric car (EV)

The Project Arrow Electric Vehicle

As part of our “An Arrow aimed at tomorrow” story series, this article, along with What do automotive engineers do, and Autonomous EV Engineering in Canada follows the building and assembly of Canada’s first electric and autonoumous vehicle.

The power of partnerships in energy conversion

The last of the United Nations 17 Goals of Sustainable Development “is about revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda is universal and calls for action by all countries – developed and developing – to ensure no one is left behind in adopting sustainable energy. It requires partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society. The Sustainable Development Goals can only be realized with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation”. In a way, it’s the goal that shows how we can all make seemingly impossible goals possible to solve. Aviva is a believer in partnering with like-minded organizations to achieve such aims with sustainable energy such as wind and solar.

The Aviva ambition to help build an autonomous EV

Aviva recognizes the importance of partnerships in solving our environmental and climate challenges. With their partner Earth Day Canada, its $3 million Charged for Change program will deliver level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for public use in under-served communities across Canada. Additionally, the organization is a presenting partner of WWF-Canada’s Nature and Climate Grant Program, and is investing more than $2 million to help local groups and Indigenous organizations restore degraded lands and shorelines in order to improve habitats and capture carbon. Given Aviva’s commitment to partnership and sustainability, it was a natural decision to sponsor Project Arrow which aimed to build the first all Canadian-made autonomous EV.

Helping aim the Arrow electric car

Project Arrow’s objective was to answer “Prime Minister Trudeau’s call for a Zero-Emissions future by 2050” by bringing “together the best of the best of Canada’s electric-drive, alternative-fuel, connected and autonomous and light-weight technology companies”. The task of building the Arrow was assigned to Ontario Tech University because of their “exemplary track record with industry partners and its ACE core research and testing facility that features world-class automotive prototype build capacity and a Climatic Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel with unique capabilities for concept development, including the capacity to simulate extreme cold and powerful windstorms”. From there, two Ontario Tech Students, Izzy Cossarin and Andrew Genovese got to work.

By sponsoring the project, Aviva was able to help bring the Arrow electric vehicle to life. As mentioned by Ontario Tech’s Amanda Mercier, Aviva’s “support was absolutely critical and provided experiential learning opportunities for many students, like Izzy and Andrew, to be a part of this revolutionary project. Without your help, these opportunities would not have been possible. It's pretty amazing”.

Charging up partner power for electric-car conversions

Project Arrow is a living, real-world example of what can be accomplished when a variety of players, of different backgrounds, can come together to make the impossible possible. The Arrow electric vehicle is more than a prototype for autonomous EVs. It’s an EV prototype of how we can work together to solve the problems facing our fragile world.

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