Canada’s first electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant is coming to Windsor, Ontario, as part of a $4.9 billion joint venture agreement between Stellantis and LG Energy Solution, announced federal and provincial officials Wednesday.
The operation is expected to create 2,500 jobs in the region, with each level of government providing incentives for the project.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli, federal Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens were among those at on the future site of the facility in the southwestern Ontario city for the announcement on Wednesday.
The companies say the plant aims to have an annual production capacity of 45 gigawatt hours.
In October, Stellantis has announced that it has formed a partnership with LG to build a battery factory in North America, which is expected to begin construction later this year. The location was “under review” at the time, Stellantis said.
“Recognition of what Windsor-Essex can do”
Ahead of the official announcement, the prospect of an electric vehicle battery plant being built in Windsor sparked optimism about what it could mean for the region and the auto industry.
“It will put us on the map, not just here in North America, but globally,” said Rakesh Naidu, President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. “There will be recognition of what Windsor-Essex can do not just in terms of quality in the conventional automotive sector, but also in terms of the next generation of automotive technologies and the new…electric vehicle sector.”
Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, said the project would be great for talent retention and startup development in the region.
“There’s a lot of technology in the electric vehicle, electric batteries, so from a start-up perspective, we’re looking at what that will mean for new companies coming into the region, new companies starting on the base , again, of a diverse and different channel offering,” she says.
“When you think about the different levels of talent needed to propel this new industry, a lot of technology talent, software engineers, software developers.”
Automotive journalist Kay Layne said Windsor would be a good fit for an electric vehicle battery plant for a number of reasons.
“The location, even the source of electricity he uses,” she said. “It’s a clean power supply, so it’s very reliable.
“They were looking for a place with zero-carbon sources.”