Tesla’s Communication with Ontario Officials on Investment Opportunities Revealed

Key Points

  • 🇨🇦 Tesla and Ontario officials have been discussing “investment opportunities” over the years.
  • 📄 Documents obtained through an FOI request reveal communication between Tesla and Ontario.
  • 📧 High-ranking Tesla executives and officials from Ontario were involved in the correspondence.
  • 💰 An email hinted at potential subsidies for EV battery production in the province.
  • 📈 Ontario aims to secure investment from Tesla and positions itself as an ideal site for the company.
  • 🏭 Tesla executives express optimism about Ontario’s battery-related investments and readiness for future investments.
  • 🏭 Despite no confirmed Gigafactory, Tesla has a strong presence in Canada with various research centers.

Documents obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request by Electric Autonomy Canada have shown that Tesla and representatives from Ontario, Canada, have been engaged in discussions regarding potential “investment opportunities” for several years.

The FOI request, which focused on Tesla’s communications with the Ontario government between 2020 and 2023, revealed that the electric vehicle manufacturer has maintained regular contact with key officials from Ontario. This includes figures like Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Todd Smith, Minister of Energy.

The correspondence also extended to high-ranking Tesla executives, including CEO Elon Musk himself. One email from a commercial officer at the Ontario Trade and Investment Office in Dallas, TX, hinted at possible subsidies for EV battery production in the province. The email was reportedly sent to Musk and discussed Canada’s commitment to becoming an EV production hub.

Around 150 documents were uncovered as part of the FOI request, covering various topics. While some information in the documents was redacted, it was evident that Ontario is keen to secure investment from Tesla. A briefing note, authored by a senior policy advisor for site planning and coordination at the Automotive Battery Office, highlighted the province’s suitability for Tesla’s endeavors.

The note emphasized Ontario’s robust automotive supply base, growing EV assembly, reliable clean energy, availability of critical mineral resources, a skilled workforce, and a thriving research and development ecosystem as factors contributing to its appeal.

Tesla’s own executives displayed optimism about Ontario as well. An email from Iain Myrans, Tesla’s national senior manager of public policy and development for Canada, highlighted the substantial wave of battery-related investments in the province. The email also conveyed that Canada ranked second globally in Bloomberg NEF’s battery supply chain ranking.

Although the concept of a Tesla Gigafactory in Canada was previously acknowledged by Elon Musk, the company has since confirmed a Gigafactory in Mexico. Nevertheless, Tesla maintains a strong presence in Canada, with research locations including the well-known Jeff Dahn Lab at Dalhousie University, a Dartmouth research center, a Mississauga-based research lab, and a Markham facility dedicated to battery development and factory design.

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