Quebec has “a lot to offer” electric car companies when it comes to establishing a supply chain for battery cells, including sourcing key raw mineral components to cheap power, the province's economy minister said. 

“Quebec has a lot to offer for the supply chain for [electric vehicles]. We’ll start with the minerals – we have lithium, nickel, graphite,” Quebec's Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said in an interview Tuesday. 

His comments come as Fitzgibbon confirmed​ on Monday to BNN Bloomberg he has had discussions with Tesla Inc. executives about potentially supporting the automaker’s battery production.

“It’s premature to announce anything but we certainly made our case that we can offer greener energy. Of course, hydroelectricity, which is 99 per cent of our source of energy (and) together with the proximity of minerals that can be converted battery materials, we have a chance to entice the [original equipment manufacturers],” he said.

Fitzgibbon said he’s met with various Tesla executives “a couple times,” and would ultimately like to see the company build a battery factory in the province, though he’s still unsure of the company’s exact plans.

Telsa isn’t his only focus though. Fitzgibbon said he has a team of roughly ten people pushing to bring original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supply chains to the province, including some in Europe.

“Obviously, Tesla is a big name but there are other names as well,” he said.

Fitzgibbon said he’s not worried about the province’s mineral supply because of the ability to reuse many of those materials.

“My feeling is that in 15, 20 years, we won’t be mining that anymore because those materials, lithium hydroxide for example, are recyclable probably to infinity or close to. That’s the other aspect: to be able to recycle the batteries is very important as well,” he said.