How EV production can help refuel Canada’s post-pandemic economy

Auto sector is now retooling to make life-saving ventilators, but to thrive post-COVID, revving EV production will be key

In this time of great uncertainty, frontline and essential workers are working to keep us safe from the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are racing to retool to fill critical healthcare needs, and governments are working tirelessly to roll out urgently needed financial relief and keep essential services intact. These efforts are paramount as we strive to flatten the curve on this pandemic and keep households and communities afloat.

Canada’s auto-manufacturing sector has joined in delivering essential services and is currently redeploying to produce desperately needed medical supplies, including ventilators. It’s a move that could help countless Canadian lives. As that essential work continues, many of us are looking ahead at the eventual task of rebuilding Canada’s economy when we finally emerge. Along with immediate financial relief for workers, businesses and communities, discussions are already under way around how investments can be made to stimulate our economy for the long-term and insulate workers against future shocks.

For the auto sector itself to thrive post-pandemic, significant opportunity lies in creating jobs and stimulating our domestic economy through investments in electric vehicle production. In recent years, we’ve seen a downturn in conventional engine (non-electric) vehicle production in Canada, with plants closing and thousands of jobs lost. A newly released report by the Pembina Institute and the International Council on Clean Transportation found that in order for Canada to future-proof its auto industry, we’ll need financial investments paired with targeted policy driving electrification.

The future is clearly electric — globally, light-duty electric vehicle sales have grown over 60% a year since 2012. But Canada only produces one plug-in vehicle model, which accounts for less than half a per cent of domestic light-duty vehicle production

As the global economy goes low-carbon, demand for electric buses, cars, and trucks will only accelerate. We want to ensure domestic production matches demand. The good news is that Canada is well positioned to lead, thanks to a history of auto making, particularly in Ontario.

To view the original article by Carolyn Kim and Ben Sharpe, click here: