Getting a jolt from electric vehicles in Sudbury

Greater Sudbury is hosting a battery electric vehicle conference in just more than two weeks to spark conversations about electric vehicles.

“We started meeting some community partners last fall and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to host something that would really tackle the entire supply chain,” said Scott Rennie, business development officer with the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation.

“We wanted to look at the exploration of the critical minerals right through to the production of battery electric vehicles and beyond into recycling.”

Rennie said the conference is titled 'BEV In-Depth: Mines to Mobility.' He added the group wanted to host something that would put Sudbury on the map.

“There are many components to the supply chain of electric vehicles," Rennie said.

"The minerals processed in northern Ontario are going elsewhere in the production of batteries. If we could get a Gigafactory in the north, that would be like a home run with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning in the World Series.”

Currently, Canada does not have an EV battery plant. In March, however, the federal and provincial governments announced funding for the country’s first Gigafactory in Windsor.

The plan is to have it online by 2024.

As for Sudbury, Rennie said the GSDC and its partners hope to ultimately foster relationships and create economic growth in the community.

“We always have to remind people, Sudbury is only a 3 ½-hour drive from Toronto. We think we can play a part in that southern Ontario battery electric vehicle supply chain.”

The battery electric vehicle conference is May 25-26 at Science North.