There’s opportunity for Canada to help supply the world’s growing need for “energy transition metals” used in electric vehicle and power storage batteries but it faces stiff competition from other countries, especially China, observers say.
Last month, the federal and Ontario governments announced they will each contribute $295 million to help Ford Canada produce electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont., while also vowing to help Fiat Chrysler in its plans to invest up to $1.5 billion at its Windsor, Ont., plant.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, CEO of EV manufacturer Tesla, has promised big contracts for miners around the world who increase nickel production for the batteries his vehicles are soon going to need.
“We are pretty excited about these recent announcements regarding electrification because there’s absolutely no reason why Canada can’t be a bigger supplier going forward of these critical materials,” said Pierre Gratton, CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, in an interview.
More than $1 trillion of investment will be needed in key energy transition metals — aluminum, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium — over the next 15 years just to meet the growing demands of decarbonization if global warming is to be kept to less than two degrees by 2050, according to a recent report by consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie.
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