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Ontario Working to Land Another New EV Battery Plant

Ontario Minister Victor Fedeli announcing deal with Honda on battery plant, in April | Photo: X (@VictorFedeli)
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Daniel Rufiange
Ontario is very active when it comes to its automotive industry.

Over the past 18 months or so, there have been numerous announcements concerning the construction of facilities dedicated to electric vehicles, EV batteries and related components. The province of Ontario has been a particularly busy player on this front. 

Stellantis, Honda and Volkswagen have committed to setting up plants dedicated to either battery production or electric vehicle assembly, or both. And the Ontario government wants to capitalize on the current wave of investment, because at some point it's going to comes to an end. 

In this context, it hopes to conclude an agreement for the construction of at least one more major new plant. So says Vic Fedeli, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development and Trade. 

In fact, the province has three other projects in its sights. It is confident of winning at least one. We'll see about the others. 

“The window in EVs is going to close very, very shortly,” Vic Fedeli told the Bloomberg Group during an interview in Toronto. He believes the new facilities that automakers will require must be operational by 2027 or 2028. 

The Volkswagen ID.4
The Volkswagen ID.4 | Photo: Volkswagen

Of course, billions in subsidies are being used to attract manufacturers to Ontario. As the minister acknowledged, there’s a palpable sense of urgency because competition from the U.S. and China is aggressive and slow movers risk losing their place globally. The strategy also aims to secure the long-term future of existing plants.

Minister Fedeli declined to say which companies Ontario is in discussions with, but his team has focused its efforts and attention on companies in major car-making countries, notably the U.S., Japan and Germany.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV
The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV | Photo: D.Boshouwers

All this is happening in a context where several manufacturers are revising their schedules for launching new EVs on the market, due to a slowdown in the anticipated growth of electric vehicle sales. 

Still, there’s a plan and it remains in place. Minister Fedeli asserts that investments in electric vehicles are viable in the long term, pointing out that sales are doing well in North America and that governmental authorities are encouraging the electric shift. 

Of course, the political picture could change over the next few years, in both the U.S. and Canada. Time will tell.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists