Fraser Institute News Release: 388 new mines must be built by 2030 to satisfy electric vehicle mandates

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To meet international government mandates for electric vehicles (EV), a total of 388 new mines must be built to produce the metals required for EV production, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The sheer scale of mining required to meet EV mandates raises serious questions about the timelines being imposed by governments,” said Kenneth Green, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of Can Metal Mining Match the Speed of the Planned Electric Vehicle Transition?

According to a federal mandate, all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in Canada must be zero-emission by 2035, and 50 per cent of all new passenger cars and light trucks in the U.S. must be zero-emission by 2030.

Again, to meet international EV mandates, a total of 388 new mines must be built to provide the necessary minerals including nickel and lithium. For context, as of 2021, only 270 metal mines operated in the U.S. and only 70 operated in Canada.

Moreover, due to the time required to locate, design, develop and build mining and refining projects—including time related to regulatory requirements imposed by government—it takes significant time to get mining projects up and running. For example, lithium production takes between six and nine years, and nickel production takes between 13 and 18 years. In light of these production timelines, the Canadian federal EV mandate, which is approximately 11 years away (2035), seems unrealistic.

“The significant risk of inadequate mineral and metal production threatens the viability and realism of government-mandated EV transition plans,” Green said.

Kenneth Green, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit