Accelerate Canada launches consultations on a national strategy to strengthen Canada’s ZEV supply chain
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EV Supply Chain
May 31, 2024
Mehanaz Yakub

The ZEV industry alliance is seeking input from business, Indigenous leaders, labour, researchers, legal experts, investors and policymakers, with submissions due by July 17

The strategic action plan will aim to enhance Canada’s value chains from mining to vehicle assembly, ensuring long-term economic growth and job creation across the country.

The ZEV industry alliance is seeking input from business, Indigenous leaders, labour, researchers, legal experts, investors and policymakers, with submissions due by July 17

Accelerate Canada is launching a national consultation to identify key actions and develop a national strategy to strengthen Canada’s zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) supply chain and industry.

The consultation is a response, in part, to recent competitive policy measures and shifting political landscapes in North America that are expected to impact Canada’s supply chain.

“We have to start thinking about what Canada’s proactive approach is going to be to building all positions within North America, and how we’re going to proactively build the full supply chain that’s really going to benefit all of Canada,” says Matthew Fortier, CEO at Accelerate, in an interview with Electric Autonomy.

Accelerate Canada, which is a national ZEV alliance group, is inviting businesses, Indigenous leaders, labour unions, researchers, legal experts, investors, policymakers, and other interested parties to share their insights on creating a successful national strategy.

The strategic action plan will aim to enhance Canada’s value chains from mining to vehicle assembly, ensuring long-term economic growth and job creation across the country.

“The way we look at it is, not one person, company, or stakeholder group has all the answers. We do need to coalesce these insights and better understand where people see the challenges, the opportunities and the priorities,” says Fortier. “This will help us figure out what a natural approach could look like that would be proactive.”

Key areas of focus

From Fortier’s perspective, Canada has achieved significant “wins” in attracting battery manufacturing and implementing “nuanced” policies, such as tax credits, to retain and attract massive new investments from companies such as Honda.

However, there are also areas where the country is lacking.

“One area that’s lacking is maybe more philosophical: How are we going to get more of Canada into the vehicles driven across North America?” says Fortier. “By that, I mean more Canadian critical minerals and more Canadian IP and more battery materials and more Canadian labour. We need a national approach to doing that and the mindset.”

The consultation will ask participants to answer a dozen questions, focusing on five key areas:

  • The sustainable development of Canada’s critical mineral assets and catalyzing the growth of a robust mid-stream sector, which adds value to minerals sourced in Canadian mines;
  • The transition and growth of Canada’s components and parts manufacturing sectors;
  • The fostering, growth and commercialization of innovative Canadian firms and products;
  • The strengthening of Canada’s long-term value proposition within North America to continue attracting and retaining vehicle and battery manufacturing projects;
  • The expanded integration of and coordination between different segments within the ZEV supply chain.

Heading into the consultation, several current gaps are already recognized and will need addressing, says Fortier.

The mid-stream sector needs development, for example, and there is a need for better support for Canadian innovation to ensure companies can compete and develop technologies for future vehicles, notes Fortier.

There is also a gap in critical minerals mining. Canada needs a clear path to produce minerals in a shorter timeframe and set specific production targets. Without clear targets, it’s difficult to plan how many mines will need to open.

“There are some big questions when it comes to what the future looks like for Canada…What’s the path [forward]? What’s the timeframe and what are the targets?” says Fortier. “I think that that’s really what we’re trying to do, is answer some of those questions.”

Creating a path forward

The submission period for the consultations is open until July 17, 2024.

After collecting all feedback, Accelerate plans to draft a comprehensive national ZEV strategy with recommended actions. The draft will be released later in 2024.

The alliance will further validate the actions with industry and other stakeholders to ensure alignment with Canada’s goals and potential.

“The idea is to try to get as many stakeholders on side as possible, so that, generally speaking, across the industry, across governments and political parties, we can agree that: a) this is a big opportunity for Canada; b) there is a path forward; and c) this is the way to do it,” says Fortier.

“If we can get to that point where everybody sees that path, then I think we’ll be in a much better position for the future.”

For more information and to participate, visit the consultation here.

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