Sarah Petrevan, policy director for the think tank Clean Energy
Canada, suggests that Canada could sell itself on ethical and
sustainable mining practices, which is a concern for some makers
of vehicles supposed to represent social responsibility. To get
to that point would likely require an expansive public-policy
tool kit – R&D, de-risking of capital, infrastructure in remote
areas – that governments have yet to formulate.
Suddenly, Canada has a foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing and most pivotal clean-technology sectors.
Only days ago, being a player any time soon in making electric vehicles seemed preposterous. Ontario’s manufacturing heartland, despite its proud automaking history, had been passed over for new investments in the cars expected to take over global fleets.
There wasn’t much confidence among industry-watchers that the junior partner in a continental market, next to an increasingly protectionist United States, could easily change that.
Then came this week’s announcement that Ford Motor Co. will make a roughly $2-billion investment in converting its Ontario facilities to make EVs, mostly by retooling its Oakville, Ont., plant for five new lines of them.
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