Tesla wants to build

Tesla wants to build

With the rise in popularity and demand for electric vehicles (EVs), there has been a concurrent expansion of battery production across the world. Tesla is exploring opening a new factory and mining facility in Ontario, Canada, to keep up with this increased demand and production.

Ontario has an established nickel and cobalt mining industry, two minerals necessary to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for EVs, smartphones, and other devices.

While moving away from traditional, dirty energy-based cars would reduce air pollution overall, many are concerned about the destructive process of mining these minerals. As the world produces millions of phones, computers, and EVs, regions with high deposits of these minerals are becoming highly contested and highly profitable.

There is a finite amount of the resources needed to produce batteries for electric vehicles, so EV manufacturers like Tesla have a financial stake in controlling access to those materials. In August 2022, Tesla began lobbying the Ontario government for battery production facilities.

With rich deposits in Canada, Tesla could secure a partnership closer to the United States and avoid depending on countries farther away from the company’s target market for those necessary minerals. Tesla has been in close talks with officials, even hiring an Ontarian battery expert as a critical minerals and supply chain policy advisor.

Ontarian officials have explored incentive programs and increased investments in the automotive industry as a tactic to lure more business into the province. The province invested $25 billion in automotive and EVs in the past two-and-a-half years.

Investments like these, which work to lower the cost of doing business, are seemingly a key reason that Tesla was drawn to the province.

Tesla has already filed paperwork to establish an industrial plant in the province. While government officials are tight-lipped about the exact partnership details between Tesla and the Ontario government, it would benefit both organizations: Tesla will have access to the valuable minerals in Ontario, and the government will see economic activity expand in their province.

As to why the company is attracted to the province, in a document Tesla filed with the Ontario government, it states, “[The] competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital through approvals timeframes that are competitive with other locations while working with the government to identify incentives to further increase the attractiveness of Ontario.”

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