Officials from manufacturing, mining, green groups, academia and labor have formed an alliance to accelerate the development of zero-emission vehicles in Canada with the goal of achieving a federal goal for all new cars and light trucks will be electric in 2035.
Bus manufacturers Lion Electric Co. and NFI Group Inc., metal producer Teck Resources Ltd., automotive and battery manufacturers associations and think tank Clean Energy Canada are among 20 organizations that will collaborate under the name of Acceleration. The economics and environment-focused Ivey Foundation provided seed funding for the effort.
The group, which also includes Unifor, the union representing Canadian auto workers, will work together over the next five years to establish a national supply chain for zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, as competition grows. is stepping up in the world. The initiative aims to promote policies, business models and investments and to advance the cause.
The European Union and member countries such as Spain, France and Germany have committed billions of euros to the development of emission-free vehicles and batteries. The EU, as part of a major effort to achieve net zero carbon emissions, has supported the development of a battery supply chain since 2017, allocating more than € 6 billion (€ 8.86 billion dollars) to this effort. He says Europe could produce enough batteries for its own needs within four years.
Moe Kabbara, Acting Executive Director of Accelerate, said the changes in the auto industry are the most significant since the invention of the internal combustion engine, but the Canadian industry remains fragmented.
“One of the barriers for us is recognizing the magnitude of this opportunity and ensuring that government and industry are aligned with the policies that are necessary to be globally competitive to attract these opportunities.” said Kabbara, consultant at Montreal-based Clean-Net. Dunsky energy consultancy, another member of the new group.
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Canada, a long-standing force in automotive manufacturing and resource development, is expected to be a world leader and a well-structured supply chain will contribute to this effort, he said. Already, Unifor has been successful in recent rounds of collective bargaining with major automakers in reaching deals to retrofit factories to build electric vehicles.
Part of the effort is to ensure that workers in today’s auto industry can transition to ZEV manufacturing as new jobs are created in the sector, the group said.
Last spring, after discussions involving a cross-section of industry leaders, Clean Energy Canada released a document with recommendations for an electric vehicle battery supply chain system. The report lamented Canada’s limited manufacturing capacity and identified the mineral supply needs needed to fuel it, the growing capacity to refine raw materials and manufacture battery parts. He identified one obstacle as the lack of a local automaker to champion the development of the EV battery.
Many participants in these discussions are now on the Accelerate list. Asked why none of the major automakers were part of the group, Kabbara said membership could increase further to include other players.
The ZEV Group is not limited to electric vehicles either, as the Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association is also a member.
In June, the federal Liberal government increased its five-year 100% ZEV sales target until 2035. It said it would develop a combination of investments and regulations to help consumers and consumers alike. industry to make the transition.
Patrick Gervais, vice president of Lion Electric and inaugural president of Accelerate, said the industry needs four priorities to thrive in Canada: supportive legislation, incentives to lower ZEV prices and cultivate wider acceptance, a strong supply chain for manufacturers and a supplier network – specializing in standard and ZEV specific auto parts.
“The Ontario market has developed a solid service offering for the automotive sector. On our side, as a Leo, we would like to have more [original equipment manufacturers] come and settle here in Canada to assemble their products. Canada is also a good country to test innovation, ”said Mr. Gervais.
“If we have local suppliers to help them, then we will create an incredible new economy in the electrification of transportation. “
Lion, based in Montreal, is a manufacturer of electric trucks and school buses, and is backed by Power Corp. This year, he announced a funding and supply agreement with Amazon.com.
Besides Lion and NFI Group (the former New Flyer Industries), other electric vehicle manufacturers who have joined the group include Nova Bus, a subsidiary of Volvo, based in Quebec; and BYD, the California-based electric vehicle maker with a plant in Newmarket, Ontario.
Jeffrey Jones writes on sustainable finance and the ESG sector for The Globe and Mail. Send him an e-mail at [email protected].
Members of the Canadian Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Chain Alliance
- Association of Auto Parts Manufacturers
- Canadian Battery Metals Association
- Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association
- Canadian Alliance for Critical Minerals and Materials
- Canadian Colleges for Resilient Recovery
- Charging point
- Clean Energy Canada
- Dunsky Energy + Climate
- Electric mobility Canada
- Ivey Foundation
- Electric lion
- National Research Council (associate member)
- NFI Group
- Nova Bus
- Propulsion Quebec
- Teak Resources
- The transition accelerator
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