Published by: Para Yadav
Last update: March 14, 2023, 10:15 AM IST
Volkswagen Gen. Travel Concept. (Photo: Volkswagen)
Last year, Volkswagen signed an agreement with the Canadian government to identify suitable sites for such a facility in the country
Volkswagen on Monday announced plans to build a major electric vehicle battery plant in Canada.
The European automaker said Volkswagen Group and its battery company PowerCo will build its first overseas “gigafactory” for battery cell manufacturing in St. Thomas, in southwestern Ontario. The start of production is planned for 2027.
The company signed an agreement with the Canadian government last year to identify suitable sites for such a facility in Canada. It had also pledged to explore ways Canada could contribute to Volkswagen’s battery supply chains, including raw materials and assembly.
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St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston said it will be the largest automotive industrial complex in Canadian history.
Ontario Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli said Canada has progressed remarkably quickly from being a pioneer in electric vehicle manufacturing to one of the top players in the battery supply chain.
“(It) is an amazing move, and I think Volkswagen recognized that they felt like they wanted to be in the middle of this whole electric battery ecosystem that we created in Ontario,” Fedeli said.
Figures such as the money invested and jobs created will be revealed at a future announcement with Volkswagen officials, Fedeli said.
The company said Canada offers ideal conditions, including a local supply of raw materials and broad access to clean electricity.
“Canada and Ontario are perfect partners for growing our battery business and green economy jobs as we share the same values of sustainability, responsibility and collaboration,” said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE, in a statement.
The province of Ontario set the stage for the announcement last month by introducing and quickly passing legislation adjusting municipal boundaries for a 1,500-acre “mega-site” in southwestern Ontario.
Fedeli said at the time that the piece of land spanned two parishes, but that it was being fitted into one to remove the bureaucratic challenges of dealing with two parishes.
Canada has made at least 10 major EV-related commitments totaling more than CA$16 billion (US$12 billion) in the past two years as federal and provincial governments work to attract investment in the sector.
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(This article was not edited by News18 staff and is published by a syndicated news outlet feed.)
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