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ITD Industries receives government funding for electric trailer

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Employees at ITD Industries in Etobicoke, Ont., set aside their tools for a special visit this morning from James Maloney, MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, who came with chequebook in hand.

Maloney was making his second visit to the plant, which produces commercial transportation equipment and technologies, including trailers, chassis, vans and specialty trailers. Maloney, on behalf of the federal government and FedDev Ontario, announced a $2.7-million repayable contribution to ITD’s development of a fully electric refrigerated semi-trailer.

Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP James Maloney addresses staff at ITD Industries and announces $2.7-million in repayable funding. (Photo: James Menzies)

First shown at Truck World in April, the trailer uses roof-mounted solar panels, an electric axle and shorepower to provide continuous refrigeration for more than three days without a power source. The first of the trailers was prepared for Loblaw, but development came at a significant cost; more than $11 million, according to ITD.

It plans to use the funds to implement advanced manufacturing and robotics technologies as it looks to expand production of its electric trailer. The facility will also soon host production of ZM electric medium-duty trucks and the company is also expanding a second manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Toronto.

“Todays a special day,” Philip Turi, chief operating officer of ITD Industries, told employees. “It’s a special day for all of you, who come into work and make the beautiful products we turn out every single day.”

Of the plant’s growth, Turi said “We’ve gotten a lot bigger. We’ve gotten a lot more productive.”

Much of that growth has been into the fledgling zero-emissions transport sector. ITD is Canada’s lone Nikola fuel-cell-electric truck dealer, in addition to building ZM Trucks and its electric trailer here.

It’s that expansion into the zero-emissions transport segment that attracted the attention of federal government and specifically FedDev Ontario.

“I just had the opportunity to tour the facility, for the second time, and it blows me away this time as much as it did the first time,” Maloney said. “I also got a ride in the truck,” he added, gesturing to a hydrogen fuel-cell-electric Nikola. “That’s an incredible machine. It’s quiet. It’s clean. It’s an incredible piece of equipment that’s going to revolutionize the trucking industry and that’s the type of innovation and high-tech manufacturing that we’re really proud to have in Canada.”

ITD employees gather for a group picture. (Photo: James Menzies)

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