One of the largest automotive investments in the history of Canada isn’t to create vehicles. It is going to be making batteries for Volkswagen. The $7 billion plant set to open in Ontario is going to bring at least 3,000 direct jobs to the area. It is estimated another 30,000 indirect jobs can be created due to this plant.
This one battery plant will supply the batteries for all Volkswagen EV vehicles. The batteries will be sent to the assembly line. They will also be sent to part retailers. Since Volkswagen vehicles are driven in several countries, there will be International shipping and delivery taking place from this plant in Ontario.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau believes this will be an excellent move for the economy. He has shared taxpayers will cover more than $13 billion in subsidies over the span of 10 years. He considers this an investment for economic growth and value around Ontario. The experts agree as they can show the estimated value for the community will equal what the government has agreed to cover in subsidies within 5 years! The plant will continue to bring in money to Ontario for decades after the subsidies are paid.
They are excited for St. Thomas, Ontario to be selected as the location for the battery plant. It will be the first time Volkswagen has agreed to open such a facility that isn’t located in Europe. There were some conversations early on between Volkswagen and some potential locations within the USA. In their talks with Canada, Ontario was the first choice and ultimately the location where the company felt they could have the best impact and success with the battery plant.
While there is still plenty to work out with the details, the forecasted plans are in place. Volkswagen intends to open the battery plant in Ontario in 2027. The site for the plant has been selected, spanning 370 acres. The goal is to create 1 million batteries annually! There will be six production lines at the battery plant.
The design of the battery plant for Volkswagen is eco-friendly. It will be 100% clean energy! This is a relief for the community as they would love to have the economic boost. However, they don’t want their environment or health to suffer to have this plant in place. Understanding from the start it will be eco-friendly is a breath of fresh air all can appreciate.
One of the pitfalls is Canada already faces challenges with shortages relating to enough people within the workforce to complete certain jobs. Both the Canadian government and Volkswagen are confident they can secure the number of people they need to keep production levels at their highest possible. This includes people living around Canada that may desire to relocate to work here, immigrants, refugees, and displaced workers.
Volkswagen was impressed with the potential of the workforce, including their work ethic and focus on safety. They feel confident the work conditions in St. Thomas are in alignment with what the company requires on a production line. Between now and when the plant opens in 2027, the goal will be on expanding the diversity within that work force.