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As Gas Prices Surge, the Electric Vehicle Start-Up Sector Grows

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

October 19, 2021


As demand remains high and oil production lags, the price of gasoline continues to climb throughout Canada and abroad. To some observers, the global energy crisis had underscored, and placed new urgency on the long-recognized need to transition to renewable resources. Amid these conditions, the electric vehicle (EV) market in North America is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. This trend, which is partly the consequence of increased government investment in cleaner forms of transportation, has evidently enlivened the EV start-up space in Ontario.

As one example, the Toronto-based energy equipment and solutions company, SWTCH, in partnership with IBI Group and Slate Asset Management, recently launched a three-year EV-charging pilot project in the hopes of providing a cost and energy-efficient solution to commercial building owners faced with accommodating growing demand for EV charging infrastructure. The pilot aims to allow buildings to draw energy from parked EVs during on-peak hours rather than from the grid. Pilot participants will be able to use the SWTCH app to track when energy is drawn from a car’s battery and when it’s charged, creating a history of blockchain-managed credits and debits.

SWTCH is an alumnus of the Toronto-based DMZ, a leading incubator for tech start-ups in Canada and abroad. In 2018, SWTCH won $25,000 after taking part in the DMZ’s Women Founders accelerator pitch competition. In a statement, IBI Group said, “As an early-stage investor in SWTCH, we believe the pilot embodies all tenets of this mission by allowing EV owners to participate in an innovative solution that supports decarbonisation and benefits all stakeholders…”

For another example, the Ontario-based industrial electric motor company, Smartricity, recently raised $1 million CAD in seed funding, allowing the company to test larger-sized motors at its test and research facility in Halton Hills, Ontario. The company uses machine learning and AI to produce cleantech solutions and innovation developments in electric machines and their support systems. In a statement, Smartricity co-founder Michael Sonsogno tied his company and its mission to the broader movement away from fossil fuels: “the world requires more clean energy in order to power electric vehicles and other means of e-mobility… This change requires more efficient use of the energy we have and better ways to supply or provide this in the future.”

By: Luke Devine


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