Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne visited Tesla’s car factory in Fremont, California on Friday 16th September. This tour came at a time when the rumors of the next Gigafactory location in Canada are growing stronger by the day.
Mr. Champagne posted a short video from Tesla Fremont on Twitter explaining the purpose of his visit to the factory.
“In California today to meet with Tesla to explore how we can innovate more and do more together,” he wrote in the video tweet.
“We were in Tesla visiting their manufacturing facility but also meeting with the senior management to talk about battery electric vehicle[s] obviously, the Canadian ecosystem, and how can we in Canada make an economy work that works for everyone,” François-Philippe Champagne said in his video message.
The Canadian minister clearly stated the purpose of his visit to Tesla’s car manufacturing plant in Fremont, California — he and his team were discussing the feasibility of a Tesla Gigafactory in Canada.
The rumors of a new Gigafactory going to be built in Canada grew stronger after the 2022 Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting when the automaker’s CEO Elon Musk hinted at the new location in the cold-weathered US-neighbouring country.
“Where should we build it?” Elon Musk asked the audience (TSLA investors) present at the Annual Meeting. As people answered a bunch of different locations, Musk said: “We got a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?”
Elon Musk is half Canadian because his mother Maye Musk hails from Canada. Musk had first landed in Canada after leaving his father’s home in South Africa and worked at his uncle’s barn at the age of 17.
So, Musk has this innate connection with Canada that puts emotional pressure on him to go for Canada for the next Gigafactory. However, he is not going to be totally irrational about it, the feasibility of having a Gigafactory in Canada must be beneficial for the business and the mission of transition to sustainable transportation.
Quebec is the most likely location that Tesla is going to choose for a Gigafactory in Canada because the automaker has already hired a lobbyist and mining engineer Aleem Ladak in the province (reported by Electric Autonomy Canada last week).
Aleem is originally from Toronto, Ontario and now his LinkedIn profile shows that he is permanently employed by Tesla in the Government Policy, Critical Minerals & Supply Chain department.
According to a report by Electrek, a Tesla team also visited a mining company Nouveau Monde’s operations site in Quebec for the sourcing of battery minerals, especially graphite.
All these indicators point toward a new beginning of what we can call Giga Quebec, Canada. And Canadian minister’s visit and meetings with the senior management of the company show the country’s interest in bringing Tesla (TSLA) to its soil and creating better employment opportunities for its people.
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