St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada, has been selected by Volkswagen and its battery company PowerCo as the location for the German OEM’s first overseas gigafactory. The site is scheduled to begin manufacturing sustainable unified cells in 2027.
The Canadian site will be the third international Group-owned plant (following Salzgitter and Valencia) and PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America. The advanced cells manufactured at the site will be used within Volkswagen’s BEVs produced in the region.
In August 2022, Volkswagen and PowerCo signed an MoU with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government that focused on battery value creation and raw material security to promote e-mobility in Canada.
PowerCo aims to become a key player in the development of the battery value stream in North America, and the site in Canada offers several advantages, such as a local supply of raw materials and easy access to clean electricity. Additional details of the plant will be released soon.
Volkswagen is targeting the introduction of 25 new BEV models by 2030, and the OEM will continue to establish more manufacturing sites in the region to support this goal. Alongside the accelerated assembly of the all-electric ID.4 compact SUV in Tennessee, the OEM also plans to carry out upgrades at the Puebla and Silao plants in Mexico to enable BEVs and possibly BEV components – including electric motors – to be built there from 2025 onwards.
“Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10-point-plan that we’ve laid out last year,” said Oliver Blume, CEO, Volkswagen Group. “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.”
“Our gigafactory in Canada sends a strong message: PowerCo is on track to become a global battery player,” said Thomas Schmall, board member for technology of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the supervisory board of PowerCo SE.
“With the expansion to North America, we will enter a key market for e-mobility and battery cell production, driving forward our global battery strategy at full speed. Canada and Ontario are perfect partners for scaling up our battery business and green economy jobs, as we share the same values of sustainability, responsibility and cooperation. We are committed to be a reliable partner and good neighbor for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario.”