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Pointing Canada’s Project Arrow zero-emissions concept vehicle forward at Ontario Tech

Former Aston Martin chief engineer Fraser Dunn overseeing engineering decisions at the ACE Innovation Garage

Fraser Dunn, Chief Engineer, Project Arrow (centre), with Paula Ambra, ACE Project Manager (left) at the ACE Innovation Garage, Ontario Tech University.
Fraser Dunn, Chief Engineer, Project Arrow (centre), with Paula Ambra, ACE Project Manager (left) at the ACE Innovation Garage, Ontario Tech University.

Behind the walls of the five-storey Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, a visionary and ambitious automotive project of national interest is moving into high gear. The mission inside the ACE Innovation Garage: build an all-Canadian, zero-emissions, electric prototype vehicle by the end of 2022.

Known as Project Arrow, the domestically designed and engineered concept car is the brainchild of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), an industry group that has brought more than 400 Canadian companies, suppliers, academics and research partners into the fold. The APMA has also assembled millions of dollars worth of technology, parts and engineering support for Arrow research and development.

The schedule calls for the prototype Arrow vehicle to be ready to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and automotive industry shows in 2023.

Ontario Tech University is the lead academic institution for Project Arrow’s Phase 2

In creating a Canadian-developed car for the future, Project Arrow takes into consideration challenges related to climate change, energy choices as well as advanced mobility. The engineering office for Project Arrow is located at the Innovation Garage at ACE. The development and build activity at ACE will prepare the Arrow for the full range of harsh Canadian weather, extreme conditions readily creatable inside ACE’s renowned Climatic Wind Tunnel.

To lead the engineering team, Project Arrow recruited Fraser Dunn from Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, the British luxury sports car builder long associated with the vehicles seen in James Bond films. Dunn will have the final say on Arrow’s engineering.

“Part of my motivation for joining Project Arrow is tied in part to helping create a car for everyday drivers, not just for the limited market of the extremely affluent.,” says Dunn. “We have a general Arrow design by students at Carleton University that was approved last year. Here at ACE, we’ll cut the cloth we’ve been given to make the suit, using Canadian-sourced technologies and materials. It’s an exciting time to build this vehicle from the ground up.”

Project Arrow varies from a traditional ‘original equipment manufacturer’ process for automotive development. In many ways, it is the first time a university has been integrated in this way in the creation of a new vehicle.

Dunn will ‘commute’ monthly from the United Kingdom for extended periods to work with ACE’s engineers and technicians and connect with Arrow’s many partners. 

“Arrow represents an interesting collective of academic researchers, industry, post-graduate students and others, where we will develop the simulations and computer-aided modelling needed to rapidly get this vehicle from design to concept. ACE is a world-leading R&D and innovation centre for new proof-of-concept development, and an ideal hub for technology integration involving automotive industry leaders.”

Dunn admits Project Arrow is working with a compressed timeframe, but says with Canada’s abundance of access to the lithium needed for batteries, and the rapid growth of electric vehicle market (Dunn predicts the Canadian car market will be 100 per cent electric by 2040), the future is now, for the Arrow, and for Canada’s automotive industry.

“It’s time to push the boundaries of new technologies. This concept vehicle we’re engineering at ACE and Ontario Tech will help get Canada on the road to zero-emissions vehicle production.”

Media contacts

Mark Klintworth
Manager, Business Development
Ontario Tech University

Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 6709
289.928.3653 (mobile)



Media contact
Bryan Oliver
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University