Tesla may open new ‘Gigafactory’ in Canada, new lobbying effort hints


After months of hints from CEO Elon Musk, Tesla disclosed a new lobbying effort that may lead to the electric vehicle maker building a new “Gigafactory” in Canada.

Whispers of the move came in June when audio from a companywide meeting leaked. Mr. Musk confirmed that the company was looking at sites in North America and hinted at Canada being one of the top options.

Last week, the plans were made more explicit.

“We are looking at sites but we are considering some sites options more broadly in North America, so including Canada and Mexico, and the U.S. as well,” Mr. Musk said to stockholders Friday.

Electric Autonomy Canada reported on Tesla updating their lobbying registry in July. The filing shows an intention of working with the Canadian government on a new facility.

“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,” the filing reads.

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Canadian officials seem receptive to the lobbying efforts.

“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,” Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, told Electric Autonomy Canada.

Tesla was in talks with the Quebec government in November to build a new battery production facility in the region.

With the new information about a possible Gigafactory in Ontario, some experts believe that Mr. Musk is trying to play the provinces off one another to get the best deal.  

Tesla’s Gigafactories, in Germany and Texas have seen mixed results over the past few years, however.

“Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now. Okay? It’s really like a giant roaring sound, which is the sound of money on fire,” Mr. Musk said.

He has blamed production issues on supply-chain woes and issues with Tesla’s new 4680-model batteries.

Tesla plans to build at least 10 Gigafactories to help it reach its goal of having sold 20 million electric cars by the end of the decade.


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