Provincial energy and mines ministers wrapped up a three day conference in Cranbrook, with Amarjeet Sohi, the federal Minister of Natural Resources, announcing a $4.5 million challenge for battery technology innovation.
Over 18 months, the Charging the Future challenge will pit five finalists against a juried panel that will give up to $700,000 for teams to develop their idea. The winning team with the most breakthrough potential will be awarded $1 million.
The federal government anticipates the global battery industry to grow to $90 billion over the next 10 years, and with that, an increase in the use of electric vehicles. Additionally, the challenge extends beyond electric vehicle battery innovation to include storage technology from renewable energy sources.
“The Charging the Future Challenge provides an opportunity to showcase Canadian capabilities and spur innovation in a lucrative industry,” said Sohi. “With global demand for batteries growing, I challenge all Canadian innovators in the battery chain to apply.”
Electric vehicle use is expected to grow to 130 million globally by 2030, according to the federal government.
“The electric vehicle revolution is well on its way globally, and it is critical that Canada does not miss this economic opportunity,” said Brad Ryder, President and CEO, Electric Mobility Canada. “Battery technology is evolving rapidly, and we applaud the federal government for this innovative program which will inspire and showcase Canadian technology in this area.”
The Charging the Future challenge is one of six designed and issued by Impact Canada, which tackles challenges such as supporting women developing clean technologies, a made-in-Canada biojet fuel, a new power grid design, a clean technology for crushing and grinding rocks in the mining industry and reducing diesel use in remote Indigenous communities.