The plant in St. Thomas, Canada, will have a planned production capacity of up to 90 gigawatt hours per year, Volkswagen announced on Friday. That’s enough for a million electric vehicles. “North America plays an important role in our global battery strategy,” announced VW Group CEO Thomas Schmal. The region will be the second pillar of Powerco’s domestic battery division along with Europe.
According to VW, the cell factory will create 3,000 highly qualified jobs and will be built on an area of around 150 hectares, equivalent to more than 210 football fields. The start of production in St. Thomas, located halfway between the Canadian metropolis of Toronto and the American car city of Detroit, is planned for 2027.
Construction is scheduled to begin next year. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also present when the plans were presented on Friday. He described the factory as a “win for workers, society and the economy”.
VW obviously benefits from enormous state incentives on a large-scale project. According to a US media report, Canada has outbid its neighbor the US with an “unprecedented” subsidy deal. The financing could theoretically exceed 13 billion Canadian dollars (8.7 billion euros) in the long run, financial services firm Bloomberg wrote. However, it depends on many factors. Francois-Philippe Champagne, the minister responsible for industrial affairs, argued that the economic benefit of bringing one of the largest automakers to Canada outweighed the cost of the subsidies. VW declined to comment.
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