The Volkswagen Group and its battery company PowerCo have selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada, to establish Volkswagen’s first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing, which will produce sustainable unified cells. The start of production is planned for 2027. The company is expanding PowerCo’s cell production ramp-up from Europe to Canada.
After Salzgitter (Germany) and Valencia (Spain), this will be the third VW Group-owned plant worldwide and PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America. It will equip the VW Group brand’s BEVs in the region with battery cells ‒ and 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 in order to promote e-mobility in the country.
While the company says PowerCo is to become a key player in the development of the battery value stream in North America, VW adds that Canada offers ideal conditions, including the local supply of raw materials and wide access to clean electricity.
The Volkswagen Group brands plan to introduce more than 25 new BEV models through 2030. In addition, the VW Group says it “plans to fully leverage 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.”
“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,” said Arno Antlitz, CFO & COO, Volkswagen Group. “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.”
Volkswagen will therefore continue to bring more manufacturing capabilities and know-how to the region. In addition to its ramped-up assembly of the all-electric ID.4 compact SUV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen also has plans to upgrade the plants in Puebla and Silao, Mexico, for the assembly of BEVs and potentially for BEV components such as electric motors in the second half of the decade.
Volkswagen Group says it is also driving the expansion of Electrify America, with a coast-to-coast charging network in the U.S. and Canada with 800 stations/3,500 DC fast chargers powered by 100% renewable energy with a “Boost Plan” to more than doubling this number by 2026.