Volkswagen Group and its battery company PowerCo have announced that they have selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada to establish Volkswagen’s first overseas electric vehicle (EV) battery gigafactory. This will produce sustainable unified battery cells with production planned to start in 2027. The decision to expand the PowerCo cell production ramp-up from Europe to Canada is further proof of the ambitious growth strategy of the Group in North America.
Oliver Blume, Volkswagen Group CEO, said: “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.”
Thomas Schmall, Board Member for Technology of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE, said: “Our gigafactory in Canada sends a strong message: PowerCo is on track to become a global battery player. 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 neighbour for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario.”
The PowerCo decision to locate its next plant in St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada is a further milestone in the global roll-out of its battery strategy. After Salzgitter and Valencia, this will be the third Volkswagen Group-owned plant worldwide and PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America.
It will equip the Group brand’s battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the region with cutting-edge battery cells. This is part of a larger plan that Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in August last year. The Memorandum of Understanding signed back then focuses on battery value creation and raw material security to promote emobility in the country.
While PowerCo is to become a key player in the development of the battery value stream in North America, Canada offers ideal conditions, including the local supply of raw materials and wide access to clean electricity. More details on gigafactory St. Thomas will be revealed in the near future.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry: “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. With Volkswagen and PowerCo, our government looks forward to working together towards a cleaner, more sustainable and resilient economy.”
The Volkswagen Group is driving forward a broad portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the United States. Group brands plan to introduce more than 25 new battery electric vehicle models through 2030. In addition, the Group plans to fully use the region’s power by creating more synergies and making even better use of the innovative strength, technical expertise, production capacities, supply chains and market knowledge of all brands in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Arno Antlitz, Volkswagen Group CFO and COO, said: “We now have the unique opportunity to grow profitably in North America and play a key role in driving the transition to electric mobility there.
“Both new, major projects are integral building blocks of our ambitious growth program for the entire region. We will be able to address an even broader range of customers. Volkswagen has the right strategy, products and scale to take a strong position in the North American market.”