Volkswagen to invest in mines in bid to become global battery supplier – (CTV News – March 17, 2023)

BERLIN – Volkswagen plans to invest in mines to bring down the cost of battery cells, meet half of its own demand and sell to third-party customers, the carmaker’s board member in charge of technology said.

Its strategy aligns with a wider trend of carmakers seeking greater control over parts of the supply chain traditionally left to third parties, from energy generation to raw material sourcing, as they compete for scarce resources they urgently need to meet electrification targets.

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Mineral-rich North energized by news of VW battery plant – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – March 15,2023)

‘It’s all about connecting our critical mineral producers in the North’ with manufacturers in the South – Pirie

ST. THOMAS — Volkswagen’s announced plans to establish a battery cell plant in Southern Ontario is good news for Northern Ontario, says Mines Minister and Timmins MPP George Pirie. “If we’re going to secure our supply chain (for the electric vehicle industry) we have to get the minerals out of the ground in Northern Ontario,” Pirie told The Daily Press.

“Nickel is a critical mineral, copper, niobium, rare earths, lithium – we’ve got them all. There are four huge low-grade deposits in the Timmins vicinity including Canada Nickel … It’s a hugely exciting time.

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Tesla, GM Follow Own Shareholders With Push Into Lithium Miners – by Geoffrey Morgan and Esha Dey (Bloomberg News – March 7, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — As automakers seek stakes in lithium miners to lock in supplies for electric-vehicle batteries, they’re following a path already forged by their shareholders.

Take Tesla Inc., which is reportedly interested in buying Toronto-listed Sigma Lithium Corp. If Tesla succeeds, it would follow prominent funds including Manulife Financial Corp., 1832 Asset Management, Maven Securities, DZ Bank and several others that have been snapping up Sigma shares, even as they cut exposure to the electric-vehicle maker.

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General Motors Digs Into Mining Business to Lead Race for EV Metals – by David Welch (Bloomberg News – February 17, 2023)

(Bloomberg Businessweek) — General Motors is trying to speed ahead in the race for metals underpinning the industry’s shift to electric cars. The US automaker is competing for a stake in Vale’s base metals unit, people familiar with the matter said this month. A deal may give GM access to the Brazilian mining giant’s copper and nickel resources that are key to making EV batteries.

GM has made several such wagers recently, buying equity while rivals mostly sign supply deals. Last month, it bought a $650 million stake in Lithium Americas to help develop Nevada’s Thacker Pass mine, which may support output of as many as 1 million EVs a year.

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Massive new North American lithium mine closer to reality with GM investment in Lithium Americas – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 31, 2023)

Lithium Americas Corp. has landed a US$650-million financing with General Motors Co. that moves the Canadian lithium company closer to breaking ground on a massive lithium mine that should help alleviate a North American shortfall for the key battery metal.

Detroit-based GM is set to become the largest shareholder in Lithium Americas, with a stake of just under 10 per cent, and it will also be entitled to exclusive supplies of the lithium carbonate produced during the first 10 years of the mine’s operation.

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Billions in new auto investment ‘just the beginning’ — Fedeli – by Dave Waddell (Windsor Star – January 18, 2023)

Ontario Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli is optimistic that landing the crown jewel of an electric battery factory in Windsor, as part of $16 billion in new automaker investments in the province over the past two years, represents just the beginning.

The transformation of the automotive sector is only in its infancy and Fedeli said Ontario is prioritizing building out the critical minerals mining and processing sector, landing a second battery plant and securing as much of the battery supply chain as possible.

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Ontario has much at stake in Japan’s losing EV race – by David Olive (Toronto Star – January 19, 2023)

Japan has ceded its leadership in consumer electronics. It’s in no one’s interest it follow that path in autos, not least the Ontario communities with a stake, David Olive writes.

Japan is at risk of losing the race in all-electric vehicles (EVs). And that poses a danger for southern Ontario, with its three Japanese auto plants. Among the 35 models in Bloomberg’s latest ranking of the best performing EVs only three are Japanese vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, concentrates on hybrid vehicles, which it pioneered with the first gas-electric Prius a quarter of a century ago. As do most Japanese automakers.

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Canada can build an electric vehicle industry worth $48B a year — but it must act now: report – by Don Pitts (CBC News Business – September 14, 2022)

Canada needs a strategy quickly in order to capitalize on payoffs in jobs and economic growth

As climate change shows its growing destructive power in floods and droughts worldwide, even strong advocates for the transition from using fossil fuels to battery-powered electric vehicles know EVs won’t be enough to fix the problem.

But as the North American auto show opens to glitz and fanfare, a new report from two reputable Canadian research groups says that Canada has a brief window to be a major player in transforming an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually into something more climate friendly — and to make money doing it.

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Tesla looking at Sudbury for possible electric battery plant: Report – by Staff (Sudbury Star – September 5, 2022)

Tesla officials have scouted Sudbury as a possible home for a factory that would build electric batteries or battery materials, Electric Autonomy Canada reports. In an online story, Electric Autonomy Canada said Tesla went on a site-scouting expedition in Ontario and Quebec during a trip to visit Vale Canada last month.

“Multiple sources with knowledge of the matter, but not authorized to speak, told Electric Autonomy that, earlier (last) month, high-level Tesla employees visited Vale Canada operations in Sudbury, Ont., just ahead of the Mercedes-Volkswagen announcements (in August).

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Electric vehicle industry prizes steel over aluminum, Cleveland-Cliffs CEO says – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – August 22, 2022)

A Detroit automaker and US steel producer sparred at an industry gathering this week on whether steel or aluminum is the preferred metal for electric-vehicle bodies.

The top executive of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the second largest US steelmaker, said that EV companies were preferring steel over aluminum. But an executive director from General Motors Co., the biggest US automaker, said there’s no broad brush.

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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.

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How one change to a U.S. EV tax credit likely saved Canada’s auto sector (Suto – August 14, 2022)

An about-face in U.S. coverage means electrical automobiles made in Canada will now qualify for hefty shopper tax credit when offered in america, a provision in a proposal that’s being lauded by auto business executives on this aspect of the border.

Underneath a earlier proposal, the tax credit would have utilized solely to automobiles assembled in america. The coverage change averts potential commerce disputes and clears a hurdle within the path of Canada’s EV business.

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OPINION:Why Biden’s historic climate bill could be a big win for Canada – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – August 8, 2022)

Washington has handed Canada’s electric vehicle and cleantech industries a big gift, in the form of a historic climate bill that creates new incentives for American consumers to buy battery-powered cars. Now it’s just a matter of not squandering it.

This weekend, the U.S. Senate voted in favour of the Inflation Reduction Act’s US$369-billion in climate and energy spending, which supporters heralded as Washington’s largest-ever climate-change-fighting initiative.

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Tesla steps up lobbying effort with Ontario, Ottawa to set up a ‘manufacturing facility’ – by Adam Radnowski (Globe and Mail – August 9, 2022

Canada’s ambitions of becoming an electric-vehicle powerhouse are being newly fuelled by interest from Tesla Inc. in locating a major manufacturing facility in Ontario.

While rumours of such an investment by the pioneering EV maker were kick-started last week by CEO Elon Musk’s offhand remarks during a shareholders’ meeting, an apparent recent shift in the company’s lobbying efforts offers more substantive evidence of the possibility.

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Carmakers face fierce battle for lithium until 2030, warns top producer – by Harry Dempsey (Financial Times – August 7, 2022)

US company Albemarle says market will remain tight for the next seven to eight years

Carmakers face a battle for the rest of the decade to secure the lithium needed to help power the electric vehicle revolution, as demand threatens to overwhelm supply, one of the biggest producers of the metal has warned.

Lithium’s use in electric car batteries has put the raw material at the heart of a global competition that has pitted the world’s largest carmakers against each other and drawn in governments as they all race to increase and safeguard supply.

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