Canada leads the world for sustainability in batteries and electric vehicles

electric vehicle plugged into charging station

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future, with more automakers adding more electric models to their lineups, racing to grab a share of the fast-growing global EV market. But it’s not just companies putting the pedal to the metal. Many countries, including South Korea, Germany, China, and the United States, are also accelerating their efforts to attract investment in domestic battery and EV sectors, in what may be the largest industrial shift since the advent of the combustion engine.    

It is difficult to overstate the commercial and environmental opportunity that batteries and electric vehicles represent. The global market for battery-EVs is predicted to reach over US$150 billion by 2028. EVs feature prominently in many countries’ strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Canada is no exception; currently, almost half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from transportation originate in passenger cars and light trucks. 

One country, one start-to-finish EV supply-chain

But in the race to establish domestic battery and electric vehicle supply chains, Canada has advantages other countries do not and will not possess. Canada is the only country in the Western hemisphere with a true start-to-finish electric vehicle supply chain.  

Canada’s natural resource abundance is perhaps its clearest advantage: all the critical minerals necessary to manufacture EVs, including cobalt, graphite, lithium and nickel can be found here. But when global investors consider Canada for EV production, they look beyond the raw materials. Canada is a leader in manufacturing batteries and, crucially, in recycling them as well. The batteries that power EVs eventually become waste and need to be disposed of safely.  

Canada’s established place as a producer of vehicles also provides an advantage over other EV contenders. World class talent, cutting-edge R&D, unparalleled market access and seamless integration into the North American automotive manufacturing industry make Canada the ideal place to build automobiles. As manufacturers announce plans to put autonomous vehicles on the road by mid-decade, Canada also boasts an exceptional artificial intelligence network and research capacity. Key players who see a future that is not only electric, but autonomous – including the likes of Ford, GM, Google, and Uber – have set up shop in Canada, creating potential network benefits and further opportunities for innovation.  

Canada: Where business and ESG are intertwined

The companies that already are operating within the Canadian EV supply chain know they are part of a sector that embodies environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, at a time when these values are more important than ever to citizens and shareholders alike. The upshot for investors is a stable environment with pro-social values, and solid institutions.  

Reducing carbon emissions, however, isn’t just about replacing gas engines with electric batteries. It must incorporate the full life cycle of the vehicle itself, as well as everything that goes into it. Much of the manufacturing and processing involved in the battery and EV supply chain in Canada will rely on cheap, abundant and clean energy, in particular hydroelectricity. Even the EV chassis has the potential to be greener, due to domestically made aluminum being produced by emission-free hydroelectricity and massive investments by Canadian steel plants to curb their carbon emissions. Finally, Canadian firms are leading the way in developing solutions to dispose of battery waste, introducing technologies to safely recover most of the material for future use.   

When you consider all of Canada’s assets, it’s no wonder major auto assemblers invested just under $4.5 billion to build EVs in Canada in the past two years alone. From mines to market access, and from exceptional talent to abundant green energy, Canada has everything needed to become a global leader in EVs.  

Learn more about Canada’s EV battery supply chain here.