Canada can lead in EV sector: report

CALGARY — The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing worldwide, and Canada has a chance to be a world leader in the sector, according to a research from ECO Canada.

The environmental group has released research findings on Canada’s EV battery supply chain showing countries including Canada are setting ambitious targets to transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) including EVs in pursuit of emission reduction and net-zero goals. Market and investment trends, both global and domestic, suggest an opportunity to maximize the value of Canada’s battery production supply chain and meet the growing demand for EVs.

Canada is the only country in the Western Hemisphere with known reserves of all the raw materials necessary to manufacture EV batteries and has ample mining expertise and strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials, ECO Canada said.

For Canada, the emergence of the EV battery supply chain is a strategic opportunity to position the nation as a leader in clean energy innovation, the organization said. However, Canada’s potential leading position is not solidified with the domestic EV battery supply chain facing significant gaps. There’s also a need for a highly skilled and adaptable workforce.

The report, based on secondary research and stakeholder interviews, shows the crucial role of human capital in driving forward the transition to electric mobility and ensuring a sustainable energy future.

The report highlights trends in the EV battery supply chain; identifies the jobs and skills that the sector needs; and offers insights from EV sector employers regarding barriers, workforce demands, and hiring challenges. These insights are crucial for policymakers, industry leaders, and environmental professionals, offering actionable data and strategic guidance to navigate the rapidly evolving EV industry landscape, said ECO Canada.

“The consequences of climate change are unprecedented for our population, the environment, and our economy,” said Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages. “By supporting research and reports like the one from ECO Canada, we are working together to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. These findings in the environmental sector will help us to address labour shortages and to achieve Canada’s goal of a net zero economy.”

ECO Canada has also developed an interactive tool focused on career pathways in the EV battery supply chain sector. The objective is to help professionals and employers to gain a better understanding of each job level and category, illuminating the growth path for every position. This visual map of occupations highlights the interconnection between occupations sharing skills and knowledge that could be employed in either role, facilitating mobility within the job market, and in the EV battery supply chain sector.