Tesla meets with Canadian minister of industry amid effort for Gigafactory in Canada

Tesla has met with François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s federal minister in charge of innovation, science, and industry, as the automaker is considering a Gigafactory in Canada.

We have been reporting on evidence that Tesla has been looking at a potential factory in Canada.

In June, electrek obtained a recording of a companywide meeting held by Musk, during which he confirmed that Tesla is looking at sites in North America, and the CEO hinted at Canada. Musk did it again at Tesla’s annual shareholders’ meeting earlier this month, and the effort was confirmed through a lobbying disclosure by the automaker with the Ontario government in Canada.

Now we learn that François-Philippe Champagne has met with Tesla Canada at their Markham facility.

In Markham, Tesla operates its Tesla Toronto Automation group, which it built out of its acquisition of the manufacturing equipment maker Hibar Systems. The group makes machinery that goes on production lines at Tesla’s factories around the world.

Electrek’s Take

Champagne also happens to be my federal deputy in Shawinigan, where I live in Quebec.

To be honest, I believe that the meeting with Tesla has more to do with his role as ministers of industry than his own district, but it’s still not impossible that a Tesla factory would end up in the region.

Obviously, I am biased, but the region is also objectively becoming an EV/battery hub. There are about half a dozen manufacturing facilities related to battery and EV production within 50 miles of the region.

GM is partnering with POSCO on a $400 million factory to produce cathode material for EV batteries at a new facility in Bécancour. In the same region, Livent is going to process lithium and Nouveau Monde Graphite is going to process graphite – both for EV battery production. In Shawinigan, Taiga is planning a large factory to produce electric snowmobiles, watercraft, and UTVs. Flo is producing EV charging stations a rock’s throw away from the upcoming Taiga factory.

There are also a bunch of smaller EV projects in the region, which is also known for its cheap hydroelectricity, and the Quebec government is investing over $1 billion in promoting projects related to battery production.

I think if Tesla ends up building a Gigafactory in Canada, it would likely be between the greater Toronto region and somewhere in Maurice/Centre du Quebec.

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