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Friday, March 24, 2023

Volkswagen to open first North American EV battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont.

The Ontario government has announced the construction of a Volkswagen electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ont., on Talbot Line near Yarmouth Centre Road, close to the city’s airport. 

The announcement was released Monday by the office of Vic Fedeli, the province’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade and is the first public confirmation of the deal that has long rumoured to be in the works. 

The company said production is set to begin in 2027 calling it its first overseas “gigafactory” for battery cell manufacturing. 

The province recently passed legislation that would allow the City of St Thomas to annex 1,500 acres of farmland from the Municipality of Central Elgin with the aim to turn the parcel into industrial lands as part of what the province called an investment “mega-site.” 

Volkswagen officials met with Premier Doug Ford on Feb 23, according to a provincial news release to seal the deal.

Batteries at the plant, once built, would be manufactured by PowerCo, a Volkswagen subsidiary in its first overseas battery manufacturing plant. 

Provincial officials and company officials from Volkswagen were not immediately available for comment Monday. 

More to come

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