Tesla Gigafactory in Ontario? Maybe, Reveals Lobbying Registry

Tesla’s recent lobbyist registry filings in Canada revealed the company is lobbying the Ontario government for an “advanced manufacturing facility” in the province (via Tesla North).

The electric vehicle (EV) maker laid out the following new lobbying goal in its recent registry filings:

Engage with the government and its agencies to identify opportunities for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing facility permitting reforms with the intent to increase the competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital investment through establishing approvals timeframes that are competitive with high-growth manufacturing locations in North America, while also working with government to identify or align incentives programs that could further increase the attractiveness of Ontario for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing investment.

A June report previously indicated Tesla was considering Canada and Mexico as likely locations for its next factory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also hinted at the possibility at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders earlier this week.

Musk polled the shareholders in attendance for what the location of Tesla’s next factory should be, and got a lot of votes for Canada in return. “We get a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?” he mused.

Tesla has reportedly already held talks with several government ministries, including the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada.

“We know how important the auto industry is for Canada‘s economy and for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians employed in the sector,” the Office of Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement. “That’s why Minister Champagne has been tirelessly working to secure the future of Canada’s auto industry, including by bringing more companies into Canada and into the entire EV ecosystem.”

“It’s good to see our government’s investments are gaining attention from automakers and companies from around the world and we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure Canadians are benefiting from the global shift to EVs,” the statement continued.

Tesla even has one existing manufacturing facility in Ontario, located in the city of Markham. The plant focuses on battery development, charging infrastructure, battery cell CNC machine programming, and more.

“Ontario has become a critical location for the end-to-end EV supply chain, and we expect to continue to see companies from around the globe select Ontario as they expand,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade.

Tesla is the world’s leading EV manufacturer, and a Gigafactory in Canada would significantly bolster the country’s automotive industry.

Over the past couple of years, Tesla has developed several components of a supply chain in Canada. The company has hired local employees, acquired companies that are part of Canada’s burgeoning EV battery industry, and even struck a deal for Canadian nickel with Vale.

Tesla has also contracted several Canadian researchers, including Dalhousie University-based lithium-ion battery expert Jeff Dahn.