Michelin secures funding to upgrade plants, make more EV tires in Nova Scotia
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Mar 23, 2023
Josh Kozelj

With its own money and $100 million in government support, Michelin is set to expand manufacturing of tires for electric vehicles and other modes of energy-efficient freight transportation at three plants in the province

Nova Scotia premier Tim Houston (near left), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister François-Philippe Champagne (near right) celebrate investments in Michelin tire plants in Nova Scotia. Photo: Adam Scotti, Government of Canada

With its own money and $100 million in government support, Michelin is set to expand manufacturing of tires for electric vehicles and other modes of energy-efficient freight transportation at three plants in the province

Michelin, one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, has pledged $300 million to boost the production of EV tires in three Nova Scotia facilities. 

In conjunction with Michelin’s announcement, the federal government and province of Nova Scotia promised financial aid to the company. In all, Michelin will receive $44.3 million in federal funding and a provincial tax credit of $61.3 over five years. 

Michelin says the combined investments will go towards installing new technology and equipment to make more efficient tires, including tires for electric vehicles, in Michelin’s three Nova Scotia plants located in Bridgewater, Pictous and Waterville.

It will also assist the company in electrifying parts of the manufacturing process that will reduce carbon emissions at the plants. 

Michelin’s growth strategy

Andrew Mutch Headshot
Andrew Mutch, president, Michelin North America (Canada). Image: Shelley Wyman, 2019

Andrew Mutch, president of Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., said in an email interview with Electric Autonomy Canada that the company is pleased to see multiple levels of government work together to strengthen Nova Scotia’s standing as a place to do business. 

“This investment is part of Michelin’s global growth strategy and is the latest in a series of investments in recent years to help Michelin better serve its customers,” Mutch said. 

In a press release, François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, added that the federal government wanted to partner with Michelin to help grow the clean economy in Canada. 

“With this investment, we are continuing to build a strong auto sector ecosystem by supporting the development of clean technology in the tire industry,” Champagne said. 

EV tires a strategic segment

Tires made for EVs differ from tires that are manufactured for combustion vehicles. 

While all tires are expected to meet safety requirements for driving on wet roads, braking distances, and steering precision, EV tires need to be built differently to support the additional weight of an electric powertrain. 

Their design also needs to include plans to reduce road noise and improve range. 

“Michelin is committed to developing the mobility of goods and people, and doing so in a cleaner and more sustainable way,” said Alexis Garcin, president and CEO of Michelin North America, in a press release. 

“With these investments, we will do exactly that: continue to add capacity in the most strategic segments of the tire market to support the transition to electric vehicles and to energy-efficient freight transportation, while further reducing the environmental footprint of our products and our plants.”

Why Nova Scotia?

Michelin has been manufacturing tires in Nova Scotia since 1971. 

Over the years, Mutch said, the three plants in Nova Scotia have earned a reputation for developing high-quality products and talented workers. 

While he didn’t mention how many EV tires the new facilities will be able to produce per year when the renovations are complete, Mutch said the focus of the investment will be to ensure the tires are long-lasting and extend the life of all their products. 

“The focus of this project is to install new technologies and equipment to respond to market evolution which requires new types of tires.” 

Michelin is the single largest exporter in the province, and as the EV sector continues to grow, the company views Nova Scotia as sources that will help them meet the growing demand for sustainable transportation. 

“Canada and Nova Scotia have great alignment with our company’s ambitions for sustainability,” Mutch said. “And a favourable business climate in which to invest.”

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