As Canada’s EV battery eco-system takes shape, ‘matchmaker’ Champagne eyes microchips – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – August 18, 2022)

Champagne believes Canada can become a manufacturer of the specialized processors, a necessary component for all new cars

Two years ago, Canada’s goal of developing an electric vehicle battery eco-system was still in the “envisioning” stage, as Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne puts it.

Today, the supply chain build-out is fast becoming a reality, with the country’s first battery and cathode manufacturing plants underway and a record $3.8 billion allocated for the nation’s critical minerals strategy in the latest federal budget.

“It’s a world of difference.… When we started, on one end we had the mining companies saying we will produce and refine if we have the OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) on the other side to do the off-takes … (and) we had the OEMs which were calling me saying we will come to Canada if we can have the critical minerals,” Champagne said in an interview this week.

“I have played the matchmaker … to make sure that people talk to each other.” The demand for electric vehicles, which require batteries sourced from critical minerals such as lithium, has increased in recent years as the world looks to decarbonize.

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