Tesla Lobbying for Factory in Ontario, Canada: Report

Tesla may be lobbying the Canadian government to make Ontario the home of its next Gigafactory, according to recently filed lobbyist registry documents — reports Electric Autonomy Canada.

The electric vehicle (EV) maker is seeking to convince Canada to adopt policy reforms that would make Ontario more hospitable to an “advanced manufacturing facility,” which is what the company has previously called its Texas Gigafactory.

A Canadian Gigafactory was also brought up at Tesla’s 2022 Annual Shareholders Meeting earlier this week. When company CEO Elon Musk asked shareholders in attendance where the company’s next factory should be, many voted for Canada. He responded, “We get a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?”

Musk teased that the company might announce its next Gigafactory location later this year. He also went on to say that Tesla’s long-term plans see it operating 10-12 Gigafactories. It is likely that at least one will be built in the Great White North eventually, but that may be sooner rather than later.

In recent lobbyist registry filings, Tesla said it wants to:

Engage with the government and its agencies to identify opportunities for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing facility permitting reforms with the intent to increase the competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital investment through establishing approvals timeframes that are competitive with high-growth manufacturing locations in North America, while also working with government to identify or align incentives programs that could further increase the attractiveness of Ontario for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing investment.

According to Electric Autonomy, Tesla has already met with the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, as well as other government ministries.

“Ontario has become a critical location for the end-to-end EV supply chain, and we expect to continue to see companies from around the globe select Ontario as they expand,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation, and trade.

The automotive industry is a significant contributor to the Canadian economy. Major capital investment from the world’s leading EV manufacturer will go a long way in bolstering those contributions.

“We know how important the auto industry is for Canada‘s economy and for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians employed in the sector,” the Office of Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.

“That’s why Minister Champagne has been tirelessly working to secure the future of Canada’s auto industry, including by bringing more companies into Canada and into the entire EV ecosystem.”

“It’s good to see our government’s investments are gaining attention from automakers and companies from around the world and we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure Canadians are benefiting from the global shift to EVs,” the statement continued.

Tesla has been working towards beginnings of a manufacturing effort in Canada over the past couple of years. The company has hired employees, retained researchers, and acquired Canadian companies involved in the battery supply chain. A March report indicated that Tesla has also penned a deal with Vale to source Canadian nickel.