Ottawa and Queen’s Park are both flooring accelerators for new investments to support the production of domestic electric vehicles, but more needs to happen before “Made in Canada” becomes an industry standard.
On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Federal Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry Franোয়াois-Philippe Champagne announced that their government would contribute $ 259 million to General Motors’ বিনিয়োগ 2-billion investment to expand operations at each Ontario assembly plant.
GM’s closure of Oshawa, as part of Ont’s ongoing resurgence. The assembly plant will return to the Chevrolet Silverado production facility, as the third relocation – resulting in 2,600 new jobs.
Two hundred kilometers west, GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll will be reused to host GM’s BrightDrop Zevo 600 electric delivery vehicle production – making it Canada’s first full-scale commercial EV production plant.
Unveiled last year, the BrightDrop brand aims to electrify fleet cargo and last-mile delivery vans, with FedEx purchasing the first 500 off-line in 2021.
Alexandre Milovanoff, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Toronto Engineering, said the announcement was significant – and part of a series of ongoing investments and promotions in the sector by both Ontario and the federal government.
“From General Motors ‘point of view, this investment is part of a larger strategy they’ve been pursuing over the years,” he said, referring to the Big Three automakers’ plans to sell only zero-emissions light-duty cars by 2035, and carbon by 2040. Will be neutral.
“It’s great to see that some of these cars will be manufactured in Canada because, I think, it’s very important to change their input components in the EV chain.”
And in line with the federal government’s deadline of 2035 to ban the sale of privately owned petrol or diesel-fueled motor vehicles in Canada.
Also Monday, Reuters reported that, according to senior government sources, this week’s federal budget will include a $ 2 billion plan to increase Canadian production of materials and minerals used in the production of EV batteries.
While both Ford and Champagne have announced the opening of Ontario’s selection as a primary player in the North American EV market, Milovanoff – whose research focuses on sustainable dynamics – says more needs to happen before political spin can really resolve itself.
“We have a long way to go before we see it, especially when it comes to electric cars,” he said.
Over the past year and a half, Ontario’s automotive sector has seen huge investments from both manufacturers and various levels of government – amounting to about $ 12 billion, according to the Ontario government.
Incidental investments to reduce Ontario’s manufacturing carbon footprint include a ঘোষণা 1.75 billion plan announced in February to “green” the Hamilton, Ontar Dofasco steel plant to become coal-free – coke ovens with hydrogen-powered electric arc furnaces.
“Over the past month, we’ve been laying the groundwork for an entirely new ecosystem,” Champagne told a news conference Monday in Oshawa.
“Our vision is to make sure we build the cars of the future in Canada, including green steel, green aluminum and green batteries.”
Canada to spend $ 2B on mining strategy for EV battery supply chain
The unintended consequence of the Trudeau government banning gas-powered cars by 2035
Currently, the battery is the “weak link” in contemporary EV landscapes.
About three-quarters of the world’s electric car batteries are made in China – but work is under way to change that.
“With battery production, we don’t really have much capacity in Canada,” said Milovanoff, adding that EV cell production depends on elements such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and manganese – all natural resources are mined in Canada .
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Canada produces about 180,000 tons of nickel a year, tied with Australia as the fifth largest producer in the world.
It is one place ahead of China in global production but below New Caledonia, Russia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
At present we have very little production capacity for these minerals
While the USGS ranked Canada as the world’s sixth-largest producer of cobalt in 2020, the Democratic Republic of the Congo produced about 70 percent of the world’s supplies – more than 95,000 tons in 2020, more than the rest of the world’s combined output.
“Canada has resources, Canada can develop these resources and Quebec can produce more lithium, more nickel, but we currently have very little production capacity for these minerals,” said Milovanoff, adding that Canada needed to increase its investment in production. Have to. The development of these resources has become a significant player in the EV landscape.
Late last month, Stellantis NV – Chrysler’s Dutch-owned parent company – announced a উদ্যোগ 5 billion joint venture with South Korea’s LG Energy Solutions to open Canada’s first electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant near Windsor, Ont.
The deal, the Financial Post reported, is one of the largest single investments in Canada’s automotive industry.
LG’s $ 1.5 billion investment will give the company a 51 percent stake in the project, with Stalantis owning the balance.
When completed, the 4.5-million-square-foot Stellantis / LG battery plant will employ about 2,500 people.
The news comes just weeks after a $ 500-million deal between General Motors and Germany’s BASF to open an EV cathode plant in central Quebec.
Although this month’s announcements have taken both Ontario and Canada in the right direction, Milovanoff says we need to do more to create a hospitable and functional environment for the new EV manufacturing industry.
“We’re starting from nothing, we’re starting from powerless battery production,” he said.
“We have a long way to go.”
Email: [email protected] | Twitter: bryanpassifiume