Canada To Focus On Batteries for Electric Vehicles

By Ben Hamill - March 02 2021

Canada To Focus On Batteries for Electric Vehicles

When Canadian Prime Minister met with U.S. President Joe Biden mid last week, the discussion points – it has since become clear from the roadmap released after the fact – revolved mainly around Canada and the U.S. working more closely together on a plan for combatting climate change in a more significant way compared to what’s been done before. And right at the very top of the agenda trended the topic of electric vehicles (EV) – and the putting together of electric vehicle battery manufacturing supply chains.

The idea is for the U.S. and Canada to reach a position from where both countries are able to compete on a global level. And the meeting certainly would have been the starting signal many in Canada’s battery production and renewable tech industries would have been waiting for.

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It’s All About The Battery

Renewable energy experts have long been calling on Canada to start putting certain platforms into place in order for the country to start capitalizing on its free and effortless access to those metals and minerals needed to manufacture batteries for EVs. And according to Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada, there’s no time quite like the present for Canadian manufacturing companies to come to the party.

The battery, and the chemistry of the battery, make up the highest added-value component of any electric vehicle, irrespective of the manufacturer, said Volpe. And since Canada is already sitting pretty on its very own “in-the-ground” sea of natural resources, Volpe said the risk of Canada falling behind in areas of manufacturing and innovation, is a solely Canadian risk.

But it’s not as if Canada is limited to finding its niche in its readily available natural resources, either. According to several industry experts, the country can set itself apart from those countries already competing in the EV market, by investing in the big-scale production of electric buses.

Canada Poised For EV Success

But the fact that a quarter of the cost of producing an EV is that of producing the lithium-ion battery on which it runs, while at least four-fifths of the cost of manufacturing the battery is locked up in the cost of the minerals and metals that go into producing it, bodes exceptionally well for Canadian production lines.

Canada, so heard the House of Commons natural resources committee early last week, has at its disposal a giant supply of those metals and minerals; lithium and nickel being main case-in-point; that go into making lithium-ion batteries for EVs.

All of which means Canada has opportunity knocking at its door in a big way right now. It’s only that someone will have to reach out to open that door.

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