To become a major player on the global battery stage, Canada must act fast – by Merran Smith and Pierre Gratton ( – May 26, 2021)


Merran Smith is the executive director of Clean Energy Canada. Pierre Gratton is the president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada.

As our largest trading partners rapidly reimagine their economies, one thing is clear: Batteries will be the literal engines of the modern world — powering our cars, our trucks, our ferries, our commutes to work, and the delivery of our next FedEx package.

Canada has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish itself as a major player on the global battery scene if it acts now. This was the conclusion of an industry roundtable convened in the spring by Clean Energy Canada and attended by stakeholders across the supply chain: General Motors Canada, Lion Electric, the Mining Association of Canada, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, Unifor, and others.

Experts recognized that building Canada’s battery-supply chain is both a sprint and a marathon, requiring short-term plays and long-term planning — but the biggest risk is not leaving the starting line.

And while the federal government acknowledged the opportunity in its most recent climate plan and budget, and has taken some initial steps, Canada is still very much in starting territory. Why act now?

The first reason is the scale of the opportunity. Driven largely (though not exclusively) by the rapid growth of electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and popularity, the global market for lithium-ion batteries is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2030.

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