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Saint John-based electric vehicle startup gets $400K from Ottawa

Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long says the funding is about supporting clean energy to fight climate change.  (Roger Cosman/CBC  - image credit)
Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long says the funding is about supporting clean energy to fight climate change. (Roger Cosman/CBC - image credit)

The federal government is investing in a Saint John-based electric vehicle startup.

Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long announced Friday morning the federal government is giving $400,223 to Victory Advanced Technologies, a Saint John company founded in 2021 to bring electric powertrains to the vehicle market.

Long said the investment is not just about building local businesses, but about fighting climate change.

"Atlantic Canada has significant competitive advantages in key industries of the future, particularly clean energy," Long said.

"We know what we're seeing around the world with respect to climate change and global warming, and we all have to play a part. We all have to do what we can because despite what many think, our climate is changing."

The powertrain of a vehicle is what propels it. The company will work with original equipment manufacturers, distributors and installers to bring their "sustainable powertrains" to market.

"[The investment] really enables us to take the next step toward bringing our powertrain into production, really ramping up the facility and beginning the hiring process," said company co-founder Isaac Barkhouse.

The funding comes through an economic growth program run by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Every sector becoming electric, co-founder says

Barkhouse said even though his company is comparatively small, the time is ripe because the industry is already "looking to electrify."

"We talk a lot about electric cars, but that's not the whole story. There's also mining vehicles. There's everything you can kind of think of that's got an internal combustion engine right now."

Barkhouse said the investment will help the company open a factory and create jobs in the city — from manufacturers, engineers and developers to management positions.

"Our plan is to build a factory right here in Saint John and give the people of New Brunswick the opportunity to compete on the world stage."

Co-founder of Victory Advanced Technologies says that the funding will help three year old company bring electric vehicle components to market and begin hiring.
Co-founder of Victory Advanced Technologies says that the funding will help three year old company bring electric vehicle components to market and begin hiring.

Isaac Barkhouse, co-founder of Victory Advanced Technologies, says the funding will help the three-year-old company bring electric vehicle components to market and begin hiring. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

He did not offer a timeline because the company is still in its early stages and he hopes to grow "organically" according to market conditions.

"We're trying to grow [but] we're not the type of a company that's going to build a big factory without the supply to be able to fill it," he said.

"So we're going to basically pack this building with as many people as we can safely and efficiently put in this building, and then we're going to continue growing until we have the big factory."