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Ontario is in a position to seize an opportunity in the EV market that would create tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions in profit if the province gets bullish on the EV economy

If Ontario is serious about transitioning itself into a globally competitive EV hub and reaping the economic benefits locally, six critical steps must be taken for the province to achieve its potential, says a new report from Pembina Institute.

The six steps include: Establish an Ontario Transportation Electrification Council, build consumer awareness, mobilize private capital in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, increase widespread availability of EV-charging infrastructure, fill gaps in public charging station availability and help Ontarians save on electric vehicle and private charging purchases.

“[M]uch more is needed beyond seed funding if Ontario is to be economically competitive with the United States, Europe, and China, each of which have secured sizeable shares of the EV manufacturing supply chain over the past 10 years,” reads the report, released last week.

“Ontario is well positioned to increase EV supply, and can capitalize on this by developing a comprehensive framework for electrification that includes policies and strategies for direct investment and for attracting private-sector capital to build supply and infrastructure and to accelerate the mass adoption of electric vehicles.”

Pembina’s analysis is that with robust investment in the EV economy Ontario could see more than 24,200 jobs and over $3.4 billion in gross domestic product by 2035 with a further 23,100 jobs and $2.7 billion gross domestic product with equal investment in EV charging infrastructure.

Establishing a council and roadmap

So far, Ontario has benefited from over $4 billion in investments into EV production in the Ford plant in Oakville, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant in Windsor and General Motors in Ingersoll, but that’s a small fraction of the $300 billion over the next five to 10 years its estimated global automakers will invest in transitioning their vehicle supply chains to electric.

“Ontario has a clear opportunity now to establish its leadership in the emerging global market for EV solutions,” reads a June 2021 open letter from the Pembina Institute to the Ontario government requesting to establish the Ontario Transportation Electrification Council.

“The development of a roadmap could be an important action in the government’s updated climate plan. A made-in-Ontario transportation electrification roadmap that clearly lays out a long-term vision for how Ontario can leverage its current expertise and skills will catalyze further innovation and investment, aligning Ontario’s competitive advantages with its climate goals.”

Electric Autonomy Canada was a signatory on the letter, which urges several different provincial government departments to move quickly to capitalize on Ontario EV economy.

“The first to enter the EV market are poised to benefit the most,” reads the Pembina report. “Through decisive and targeted action, Ontario can take charge, reimagine its
automotive industry, and be a competitive player in a rapidly shifting global automotive
sector that is trending towards electrification.”