Volkswagen Picks Ontario for North American Battery Factory

Published on March 13, 2023 in Electric by Guillaume Rivard

Volkswagen’s search for the location of an EV battery factory in North America is over.

The German automaker and its battery company PowerCo today announced the selection of St. Thomas in Ontario to establish Volkswagen’s first overseas gigafactory for battery manufacturing. The start of production is planned for 2027.

The decision to expand the PowerCo battery production ramp-up from Europe to Canada is further proof of the ambitious growth strategy of Volkswagen in North America.

“Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10-point-plan that we’ve laid out last year,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume. “With the decisions for cell production in Canada and a Scout site in South Carolina, we’re fast-forwarding the execution of our North American strategy.”

Of course, the news comes as a major win for the Liberals in Ottawa.

Photo: Volkswagen

“Today’s announcement by Volkswagen is a true testament to our highly skilled workforce and Canada’s strong and growing battery ecosystem,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry. “VW’s decision to establish its first overseas gigafactory in Canada speaks to our country’s competitiveness when it comes to attracting major investments. It is also a vote of confidence in Canada as the green supplier of choice to the world.”

After Salzgitter (Germany) and Valencia (Spain), this will be the third Volkswagen Group-owned plant worldwide and PowerCo’s first battery factory in North America. It will equip the Group’s upcoming EVs in the region with cutting-edge battery cells—and is part of a larger plan that Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon with the Canadian government in August last year.

Photo: Volkswagen

The Memorandum of Understanding signed back then focuses on battery value creation and raw material security in order to promote e-mobility in the country.

According to Volkswagen and PowerCo, Canada offers ideal conditions, including the local supply of raw materials and wide access to clean electricity. More details on the St. Thomas gigafactory will be revealed in the near future.

LISTEN: LP and Gab discuss Volkswagen's battery plant on The Car Guide Podcast

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