Governments will have to pivot their industrial development support to electric and autonomous vehicles if they want Canada to have a future as an auto manufacturer, according to an analysis released last week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
“A high-skill labour strategy only works if we have cars to build,” wrote report authors Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president of the University of Guelph, and John Holmes, professor emeritus of geography and planning at Queen’s University.
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“And that means electric vehicles and autonomous cars, because they play to Canada’s strengths in technology, and more importantly, because they are where the market is headed,” the Toronto Star writes, citing the CCPA release. “The report calls for financial incentives for companies that produce green vehicles, and for increased tax credits and grants for small tech companies, to help develop a test market ‘for Canadian-made innovations’.”
SUVs, large sedans, and light trucks currently dominate new auto sales in Canada, and auto analyst Dennis Desrosiers doesn’t see EVs exceeding 10% by 2030, the Star notes. But Yates said anyone interested in multi-billion-dollar manufacturing investments has to focus on the longer term.
“You don’t build it for five or 10 years…Yes, you look at current demand, but you also look at where the market is going,” she said. “We don’t have an endless amount of money, so let’s put it into areas which are already strengths for us.”
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