General News

Province planning for electric vehicle future

June 1, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Ontario has a history of being one of the top producers of automobiles in North America, and the province is working to stay ahead of the curve by planning for the future when it comes to electric vehicles.

For generations, the auto sector has supported the livelihoods of Ontario workers and has remained an essential part of the Ontario economy.

In 2019, the industry contributed $13.9 billion in GDP to the provincial economy and employed 100,000 people in auto assembly and part manufacturing.

Despite this, the province has seen investment dollars go to competing jurisdictions, notably the southern U.S. and Mexico, which offer lower costs and less red tape.

In 2019, phase 1 of a provincial plan called ‘Driving Prosperity took action to correct issues that reduced competitiveness led to plant closures and put communities at risk.

With a new wave of technology and electric vehicles (EVs) sweeping through the auto industry, the province is acting to transform auto production and supply chains so critical investments remain in Ontario.

In 2020 the number of electric vehicles sold globally was 2.5 million. By 2030, that number is expected to reach 31.1 million.

Part of Ontario’s plan is battery production. Ontario is Canada’s second-largest mineral producer, producing $10.5 billion worth of minerals – 24 percent of Canada’s total mineral production in 2020.

Canada is the only country in the Western Hemisphere with all the raw materials required for a lithium-ion battery.

Phase 2 of the Driving Prosperity plan aims to support the attraction of large-scale EVs and electric battery production to anchor an advanced electric battery supply chain in Ontario.

Growing local EV and battery manufacturing will drive economic activity in Ontario.

Ontario is the only province in Canada that builds cars and trucks. It is the only region in North America with five major global automotive assemblers – Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler), Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota, as well as truck manufacturer Hino.

The province’s vehicle assembly facilities are supported by a supply chain with over 700 parts manufacturers and over 500 tool, die, and mould makers.

Ontario-based parts companies Magna, Linamar, and Martinrea are among the world’s largest automotive suppliers.

“As Ontario launches fully electric GO bus service, riders are going to enjoy a quieter ride, powered by our world-class clean electricity grid. As a global leader in the electric vehicle revolution, this new option represents another step in our work to support electric vehicles, reduce emissions and expand clean, green travel options,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

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