Ottawa and Ontario will invest in electric vehicle battery systems

Ontario’s auto industry gets a much needed boost.

Provincial and federal governments are joining hundreds of millions of dollars in a new electric vehicle battery factory in Windsor in an effort to offset a much larger flow of electricity investment to the United States during President Joe Biden’s “Buy America” ​​campaign.

The $ 4 billion plant – announced Wednesday by automaker Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) and its battery partner LG Energy – will see contributions greater than the $ 132 million each level of government gave Honda last week to expand its Alliston plant, sources. Star.

The location of the plant in Ontario increases the odds of building more electric vehicles in the province as car companies accelerate their transition from internal combustion engines, said Flavio Volpe of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

“We have landed a big one. These are big investors making a generational investment on this side of the Detroit River,” Volpe added.

“It says they’re comfortable with being able to go to their shareholders, their boards and say this Buy America policy, like every other Buy America since (former US President Richard) Nixon, starts very strictly, but includes in ultimately Canada. ”

The “Buy American” policy that Prime Minister Doug Ford traveled to Washington, DC on Monday to fight would provide huge subsidies to consumers south of the border to buy American-made electric cars.

In a speech, Ford urged Americans to keep “two-way trade afloat” for the sake of jobs in both countries, noting that Ontario’s mining sector “unlocks the northern minerals that will power the batteries in the electric vehicle revolution.”

Ford travels to Windsor for the announcement with Francois-Philippe Champagne, the Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra.

Having the battery factory in Windsor is seen as a good omen for Stellanti’s automotive factory in Brampton, which employs 3,000 workers building gas-powered muscle cars that are being phased out in December 2023. The plant, which has no product mandate beyond that. date, also accounts for about 10,000 jobs at suppliers.

Replacement electric models are expected to be manufactured in Belvidere, Illinois to take advantage of Biden’s EV subsidies, which are worth up to $ 12,500 (US) for domestic buyers of unionized vehicles.

“If you want to be in the process of making batteries in volume in Ontario, the outlook looks a little brighter today for Brampton,” Volpe said.

The Windsor investment follows at least $ 25 billion in EV expansions from various automakers to Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, which raised concerns about Ontario being left behind.

“Ontario gets a fraction of that, even though we’re a big carmaker, and I think it’s because the Ford government has been so actively hostile to electric cars until the last six months,” Green leader Mike Schreiner said.

“We need to shift gears quickly.”

Ford suggested last week that Ontario would not restore support for the purchase of electric cars to consumers, which he rejected at the time of taking power in 2018, but would boost the construction of electric charging stations, the pace of which, according to critics, has been too slow to encourage buyers to go for electricity.

All opposition parties have promised to restore EV subsidies if elected in the June 2 provincial election.


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these statements.

Leave a Comment