CHARGE Labs, University of WindsorClick image to enlarge

Over the past several years the automotive industry has taken a serious interest in an innovative lab at the University of Windsor that is spearheading research into electric and connected vehicles.

Titled the Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy (CHARGE) Labs, the centre is the brainchild of Dr. Narayan Kar, who is Canada’s first Canada Research Chair in Electrified Engineering Systems, in addition to heading the CHARGE Labs.

A recent report in the Windsor Star notes that the automotive industry has invested heavily in research funding for the lab over the last five years - in addition to in-kind donations such as materials or engines for experimentation. CHARGE has attracted nearly $7 million in investment in the last five years, and Kar says the lab is currently in talks about a project that could be worth more than $1 million.

Kar has developed long-term partnerships with Ford, Magna International and D&V Electronics. Kar says he meets twice a week with Magna. Organizations from China and India are scheduled to visit the lab in June in conjunction with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association conference in Windsor.

CHARGE Labs has a team of some 30 researchers. The University of Windsor is in the process of adding two new people as Canada Research Chairs in electric/autonomous vehicles and connected vehicles.

“We [in Southern Ontario] have been in automotive manufacturing for over 100 years, so we can make this stuff,” Kar told the Windsor Star. “That’s why almost everything that needs producing, we have done locally. Somebody is going to produce it somewhere in the future and we want it to be done here. The question is – are industry, academia and government doing what needs to be done to be ready for this shift to electric?”

Read the full report here.

Photo: CHARGE Labs

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