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Cambrian College's electric vehicle lab project gets a funding jolt

Greater Sudbury Development Corporation invests in the future of mining clean tech
MacLean Engineering battery electric vehicle
MacLean Engineering battery electric vehicle (Supplied photo)

Sudbury's Cambrian College is positioning itself to be a global hub for all things involving underground battery technology in the mining industry.

The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation delivered $250,000 to the college toward the development of its proposed $2.8 million Industrial BEV (battery electric vehicle) lab.

The 5,600-square-foot lab will be situated within the Glencore Centre for Innovation building on campus. It'll be part of the Centre for Smart Mining within Cambrian's applied research division.

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According to Steve Gravel, manager of the Centre for Smart Mining, cleaner and greener is the way of the future below ground.

“The mining sector is becoming a greener industry, and BEV technology is a big part of that transition," he said in a Feb. 1 news release.

"Our proposed new BEV Lab will be a mirror for what’s happening in the industry. Working with our mining sector partners, the Battery Electric Vehicle Lab will enable us to accelerate vehicle technology development and performance testing while training a new generation of trades people uniquely equipped to flourish in the industry of the future.”

“The global market for BEV is expected to grow to $17.5 billion by 2025. I am proud to say that Sudbury is one of the early adopters of BEV technology and by offering specialized training and education, we will soon become the global hub for everything related to BEV.”

Kristine Morrissey, Cambrian's vice-president of finance and administration, said the college's deepening interest in battery technology is a "future focused" endeavour that's expected to be a huge part of the mining industry.

"This lab will be the first of its kind in Canada and we want to make sure we’re leading the way in training education and being the bridge between students looking to learn and companies looking to hire.”

Cambrian is already collaborating with a local mining supplier, MacLean Engineering, on a new course offering in battery-electric vehicle maintenance, designed to train heavy duty equipment technicians working in the mining sector. As Canada's largest manufacturer of underground vehicles, MacLean is providing technical input on the curriculum.