Will There Be a Giga Canada Next?

Will There Be a Giga Canada Next?

Elon Musk hinted that the new Gigafactory would be announced later this year during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting on August 4. The CEO spoke in-depth about Tesla's vehicle assembly plants at the Gigafactory Texas gathering known as Cyber Roundup - a follow up of the Cyber Rodeo in April. Future Tesla manufacturing facilities were inevitably discussed because Musk has long stated that Tesla would construct further Gigafactories. He never provided much information regarding their whereabouts, though.

Tesla could very well make an official announcement this year on the location of the next new Gigafactory. Musk asked the audience where Tesla should build it when they asked for location hints. Musk claimed that after the group of investors screamed their ideas, Canada was the one that was most frequently mentioned.

"We got a lot of Canada. I'm half Canadian, so maybe I should?"

Elon Musk speaking at Tesla's Cyber Roundup in August 2022.

But the first conclusive proof of Tesla's interest in either an industrial or advanced manufacturing facility is found in public filings filed in Ontario in July. According to recent lobbyist register records submitted to the province, Tesla has started discussions with the Ontario government about enhancing the province's ability to compete for manufacturing facility recruitment.

Although there have long been rumors that the Texas-based electric car manufacturer is considering opening a facility in Canada, most of them are based on what Tesla's Technoking Elon Musk casually says during conference calls and most recently at the company's annual shareholders meeting on August 4.

In its lobbyist registry, Tesla outlined its most recent objective. Tesla's ongoing list of lobbying actions with the Ontario government includes consultations on rules governing electric and driverless vehicles as well as solar panel use. New goals were revealed in the July 2022 document, which were added to the list. The end-to-end EV supply chain has made Ontario a key site. Tesla has been quietly but strategically expanding its operations across Canada, with many of these developments taking place in Ontario.

While the term "advanced manufacturing facility" used in the Tesla registry filings is general, Tesla has previously used it to designate its Giga Texas factory. Neither party offered a remark to further explain.

Additionally, Tesla has not disclosed this specific lobbying purpose in any prior Canadian lobbyist registry entries it has made, either at the provincial or federal levels. That could occur as a result of Ontario having infrastructure near a battery production facility that is uncommon in other parts of Canada.

Ontario's Promising EV Industry

The fact that Ontario was able to develop a nearly finished EV battery supply chain in less than two years is something the provincial government is proud of. Pre-cathode active material (pCAM) and cathode active material (CAM) manufacturers promised, mining operations to extract vital battery minerals, refinery facilities built or promised in the next five years, battery cell manufacturers currently building facilities in the province and hoping to be operational in the next two years, and the existing auto manufacturing industry that is quickly shifting to the production of electric vehicles are all on the list.

The most recent victory for Ontario came in July, just days before Tesla revised its registry file, when it was announced that a $1.5 billion battery material facility would be built and run-in eastern Ontario by the Belgian company Umicore. Tesla already collaborates with Umicore on a number of applications including the supply of minerals and battery recycling.

One million electric vehicles will receive annually enough pCAM and CAM material from the Umicore factory. Most importantly, though, is that Umicore has not yet disclosed to which firm or companies it will be providing the material. Umicore chose to locate their facility in Loyalist Township, just outside of Kingston, as opposed to the Windsor region, breaking with all of the other battery supply chain companies now moving to Ontario.