Another battery gigafactory is coming to Canada. The Volkswagen Group has just announced that its new battery cell factory will be built in St. Thomas, Ont.
This will be the company's first battery cell factory in North America. It is also the first site for VW Group's battery company PowerCo outside of Europe and PowerCo's third site overall.
“Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10-point-plan that we’ve laid out last year. 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,” said VW Group CEO Oliver Blume.
The foundations for a VW battery plant in Canada were laid last August. Then, Volkswagen (as well as Mercedes-Benz) announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government to secure a supply of the raw materials used in EV batteries. The agreement covered materials, including nickel, cobalt, and lithium, all essential to EV batteries.
PowerCo's new site is expected to come online in 2027. Today's announcement was short on details, but the site will supply battery cells to VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., where the Volkswagen ID.4 is currently built. It will also supply the company's Scout factory in South Carolina. That site was announced just last week and will build a line of not-yet-revealed electric off-roaders.
The site will also likely supply VW's other plants in Mexico once those sites begin building more electric vehicles.
PowerCo chairman Thomas Schmall told reporters that the Ontario site's proximity to raw materials, supply of clean energy, and proximity to U.S. plants were all part of the decision to pick this site.
“Today’s announcement by Volkswagen is a true testament to our highly skilled workforce and Canada’s strong and growing battery ecosystem. 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," said Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne.