Auto parts giant and vehicle assembler Magna International Inc.  (NYSE: MGA ) and the government of Ontario unveiled plans to invest C$432 million (US$441 million) over the next six years to develop next-generation electric vehicle technologies , the Associated Press reported.
The province of Ontario, the hub of Canada's automotive industry, will contribute about C$48.4 million of the total, a government spokesman said on Monday at a Magna facility in Brampton, Ont. Through the partnership, Ontario seeks to solidify its status as one of the world's leading auto technology centers while vying for its share of the increasingly lucrative global research and development market for battery-powered and electric-gas plug-in hybrid vehicles .
"We are delighted to receive support from Ontario to pursue our goal of transitioning Canada's automotive design, engineering and manufacturing toward the clean economy," said Magna CEO Don Walker in a statement.
Aurora, Ont.-based Magna's E-car venture, which will receive a portion of the funding, played a role in the development of the electric Ford Focus and has landed "other contracts with auto makers," said the chief executive during a conference call on second-quarter financial results on August 5.
Earlier this month, Ontario and the federal government announced plans to provide Toyota with C$141 million to upgrade the Japanese automaker's plants in Cambridge, Ont., and Woodstock, Ont., where an electric version of Toyota's popular RAV4 crossover SUV will be built.