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Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

2024 is shaping up to be a better year for automakers and drivers, with supply chain issues continuing to ease. But new challenges are factoring in, namely higher interest rates and consumer costs. Electric powertrains continue to proliferate, requiring changes to Canada’s current automotive workforce, ecosystem, and skills.

In the era of connected vehicles there are also new considerations around data ownership and privacy. What do these shifts mean for automakers and consumers?

The Globe and Mail hosted the fourth annual Future of Automotive summit on February 13, bringing industry experts, consumers, and tech innovators together to share insights on the evolution of automotive and driving in Canada.

Missed the live event or would like to view it again? Scroll down to the video below.

Jordan Chittley, editor of Globe Drive at The Globe and Mail co-moderated the event, together with Petrina Gentile, automotive journalist and contributor to The Globe and Mail.

Ms. Gentile began with an interview focused on how e-vehicle uptake is trending in Canada, featuring Stephen Beatty, vice-president of corporate with Toyota Canada; and Dan Guatto, director of business consulting and energy transition with EY Canada. The conversation covered issues such as e-vehicle charging, costs and market development.

Mr. Chittley followed with a discussion focused on the price of new and used vehicles, average leasing terms and how costs are expected to evolve. The conversation included:

  • Yolanda Biswah, president of Canadian Black Book
  • Baris Akyurek, vice president of marketing intelligence with AutoTrader

Another key issue addressed at the event was data privacy and security in the era of connected vehicles. As the level of technology in vehicles increases, incrementally more data is collected related to drivers and road conditions. Legislation, consumer awareness and robust cybersecurity systems all factor in to the issue. The discussion, moderated by Mr. Chittley, featured Fahed Hassanat, co-founder, COO and head of engineering with Sensor Cortek and Ruth Promislow, partner with Bennett Jones LLP.

As Canada continues the transition to cleaner powertrains the automotive industry will need new skills and innovation in the workforce. Indigenous communities are at the forefront of clean energy projects and embarking on projects related to electrification, youth involvement in energy and skills development.

These topics and more were covered by a panel of experts who discussed the steps and actions business, industry and governments should take now to position Canada for success. Moderated by Ms. Gentile, the panel included:

  • Dr. Narayan C. Kar, director of the centre for Hybrid Automotive Research & Green Energy (CHARGE), at the University of Windsor
  • Jessica Tait, sustainable transportation manager with Indigenous Clean Energy
  • Meena Bibra, senior policy advisor, clean transportation with Clean Energy Canada

Watch the full replay below.

The Globe and Mail presented the event with sponsor support from Toyota Canada.

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