Bernard Swiecki, research director at Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive
Research, said Canada has a “secret sauce” of ingredients that make it
particularly well suited for battery investment. Northern Ontario’s
“Ring of Fire” contains virtually all the critical minerals needed
to produce advanced vehicle batteries.
Stunned by Ford Motor Co.’s decision to invest $11.4 billion in electric vehicle assembly and battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, Michigan in December created a $1 billion fund to lure new electric vehicle operations to Michigan.
An even bigger concern voiced by policymakers and local economic developers was that aggressive southern states were going to steal Michigan’s signature auto industry with huge financial incentives unless the state sweetened its economic development money pot.
But it’s not just the South that Michigan needs to worry about in its quest to become the electric vehicle capital of North America. Canada, our neighbor to the north, is proving to be an increasingly strong competitor for electric vehicle investment.
Detroit automakers have announced investments of more than $7 billion in the Canadian province of Ontario in a battery plant and retooled assembly plants to prepare for increased electric vehicle production since 2020.