Tesla exploring industrial facility and mineral extraction possibilities in Ontario: report

Tesla appears to be seeking “opportunities for industrial facility, mineral extraction and processing project permitting reforms” in Ontario. The electric vehicle maker’s plans were shared in documents filed with the Ontario government.

The filings suggest the automaker may be looking to gain more control over its electric vehicle battery supply chain, and Ontario is emerging as one of the company’s preferred locations. Tesla listed the following as one of its lobbying goals in its filing:

“Work to identify opportunities for industrial facility, mineral extraction and processing project permitting reforms to increase the competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital through approvals timeframes that are competitive with other locations while working with government to identify incentives to further increase the attractiveness of Ontario,” the filing read. 

Credit: Ontario Office of the Integrity Commissioner

When asked by Electric Autonomy about the matter, Canada’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade has provided Electric Autonomy with a comment. 

“By reducing the cost of doing business by $8 billion annually, Ontario has seen unprecedented levels of investment into the province, including $25 billion in auto and EVs in the past two and a half years. While the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade does not discuss economic prospects publicly, our government continues to seek out opportunities to promote job growth and ensure Ontario remains a competitive jurisdiction,” Vanessa De Matteis, press secretary for minister of Economic Development Victor Fedeli, stated. 

Reports about Tesla’s intentions to establish a facility in Canada have been around for some time. In August 2022, reports suggested that Tesla had been lobbying the Ontario government about “advanced manufacturing facilities.” The company also hired a former battery mineral advisor to the Ontario government as its new Critical Minerals & Supply Chain Policy Advisor in September.

High-ranking Ontario officials and Tesla representatives have since engaged in several meetings, including visits to the Tesla Fremont factory by ISED minister François-Philippe Champagne and confidential visits that reportedly involved non-disclosure agreements. 

Canada is one of the few countries that is home to numerous critical battery minerals, such as lithium and nickel. However, the country has mostly lagged in developing the refining and processing infrastructure for the industry. Facilities like those being pondered by Tesla would likely help Ontario become a more notable player in the battery sector.

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