Engineers looking at a plan
A control station in a BASF intermediate products plant. Source: BASF SE

The German multinational is one of several companies reportedly looking to tap Ottawa’s $8-billion Net Zero Accelerator cleantech fund to bring EV battery production to Canada

German chemical giant BASF SE as well as several other unnamed companies are in talks with the Canadian government to establish electric vehicle battery production facilities in Canada with the aid of a federal cleantech fund, according to a Canadian official familiar with the discussions as first reported by Reuters.

According to Reuters, BASF’s talks with the government reportedly concern whether or not the company would be able to benefit from Canada’s $8-billion Net Zero Accelerator fund, which was launched in 2020 to fund projects and technologies that could bring Canada closer to its goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Currently BASF SE’s presence in Canada is in the form of a subsidiary, BASF Canada, which is headquartered in Mississauga, Ont., with 1,200 employees at production facilities and offices located across the country.

Canada an “interesting destination”

In addition to being the world’s largest chemicals and plastic producer by sales, BASF is a supplier of cathode active materials, which are an integral component of the lithium-ion batteries found in electric vehicles.

“Canada is an interesting destination for potential production given its access to rising battery cell manufacturers in North America and its access to raw materials that are needed for the production of cathode materials,” BASF said in a statement to Reuters.

“BASF currently examines several options in various regions to further expand its production network in this fast-growing market for battery materials and to continue to support its customers.”

Canada is rich in materials such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, and nickel which are critical to the production of EV batteries. As such, many industrial players have made calls to develop the nation’s critical mineral and battery supply chains in order to take advantage of the massive expected uptick in demand for those products due to the global rise of EVs.

Talks are reportedly still preliminary and no deal with BASF is guaranteed. The government has not commented on the report.