Ontario Budget 2022: Itemization of commitments pertinent to electric mobility
The Government of Ontario tabled the 2022 Budget, Ontario’s Plan to Build (full document here) on Thursday, April 28th, 2022. Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, revealed the state of provincial finances approximately one week before Canada’s most populous province is due to begin an election campaign. Because the document will not have time to pass through the Legislature before its dissolution, the Budget is widely viewed as a costed election platform—an indication of fiscal plans for Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party, should it receive a renewed mandate from Ontario voters. Electric Mobility Canada has undertaken a comprehensive review of these plans from the point of view of electrifying Ontario’s transportation sector.
The budget document re-affirms commitments to advance Ontario’s Critical Minerals Strategy and develop the supply chain from exploration and mining through to material processing, battery assembly, and EV manufacturing. It highlights $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure such as all‐season roads to the Ring of Fire; $12 million over three years to created a Critical Mineral stream within the Ontario Junior Exploration Program; and $5 million over two years for a Critical Minerals Innovation Fund to help mining industry, academia, start-ups, and research and development firms collaborate to develop new, innovative ways to extract and process critical minerals.
Elsewhere in the EV supply chain, Ontario announced it would contribute up to $500 million in support for ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s $1.8 billion investment in Hamilton to replace its coal‐fed coke ovens and blast furnaces with new, low‐emission electric arc furnace. The province also re-capitalized its Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP) to help stabilize industrial electricity rates and secure Algoma Steel’s conversion to electric arc furnace. These investments are expected to catalyze Ontario’s production of low-carbon steel and enhance both the environmental benefit and the competitiveness of this key input to the production of EVs.
The 2022 Budget also highlights major recent supply-side investments to attract vehicle and battery manufacturers to the province. Over the past 18 months, Ontario’s automotive sector has seen over $12 billion in new investment in for new vehicle production mandates and battery manufacturing. The provincial government has supported these projects, in some cases with undisclosed sums (such as in the case of the joint-venture battery manufacturing facility by Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions), and in others with definite amounts (e.g., $259 million to re-tool GM’s Ingersoll and Oshawa plants; $295 million for Ford’s Oakville vehicle assembly complex; and $131.6 million to upgrade Honda’s Alliston plant for the production of hybrids). These public financings are made in support of Phase 2 of Ontario’s Nov. 2021 automotive strategy, Driving Prosperity, whose medium-term “Anchor Objective” is to build >400,000 electric vehicles and hybrids (or roughly 20–33% of total annual vehicle production) by 2030.
Finally, the Government of Ontario is committing $91 million to deploy public EV charging stations in a range of settings, and has created the Rural Connectivity Fund as a set-aside to ensure charger installation occurs in rural communities. In anticipation of long term load growth in the power sector, in part due to the increasing electrification of vehicles, Ontario’s Plan To Build also provides $1 billion through 2030 to accelerate the development of five transmission lines in southwestern Ontario.