In its last major announcement before the election writ is dropped Tuesday The Ford government will kick in more than half a billion dollars to support $3.6 billion investment in electric vehicle manufacturing from Stellantis in the automaker’s Windsor and Brampton plants. These investments are intended to accelerate the creation of one of the most vertically integrated electric vehicle supply chains in North America. The federal government will also contribute over half a billion dollars. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau were in Windsor Monday to make the announcement.
The Windsor Assembly Plant will be transformed to support production of a new multi-energy vehicle (MEV) architecture that will provide battery-electric (BEV) capability for multiple models. The plant will have maximum flexibility to adjust production volumes as needed to meet changing market demand over the next decade. Retooling is expected to begin in 2023.
The Brampton Assembly Plant will be retooled and fully modernized, beginning in 2024. When production resumes in 2025, the plant will introduce an all-new, flexible architecture to support the company’s electrification plans.
With this announcement, both Ontario assembly plants are expected to return to three shift operations in order to support the demand for these new products. The company will announce product allocation at a later date.
The Windsor-based ARDC will expand its talent pool by adding more than 650 skilled engineering jobs in various areas to support Stellantis’ growth in electrification. It will expand North American capability related to the transition to EV with a focus on core technology areas: electrified propulsion systems, including batteries, power electronics, electric machines, motor controls, energy management and embedded software.
The ARDC also will become the first battery lab in North America, following the company’s announcement to establish a similar centre in Turin, Italy. The Battery Lab will be a state-of-the-art technology centre for the development and validation of advanced BEV, PHEV and HEV cells, modules and battery packs. The new 100,000-square-foot facility will be added to the existing building with completion expected by the end of 2023.
In March, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced the formation of a joint venture company to establish the first large-scale, domestic, electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Windsor to support the company’s electric battery development. With an investment of $5 billion CAD ($4.1 billion USD) and the creation of an estimated 2,500 new jobs, the joint venture company will produce lithium-ion battery cells and modules to meet a significant portion of Stellantis’ vehicle production requirements in North America.
The announcement is part of the Ford government’s strategy to build an electric vehicle capability in Ontario that will start with the extraction of rare metals used in vehicle battery manufacturing in Ontario’s Ring of Fire through to the manufacture of batteries and their assembly into vehicles.