The Volkswagen Group steps up its activities in North America in a bid to take a strong position in this important growth market for battery electric vehicles. The Group and its battery company PowerCo have selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada to establish Volkswagen’s first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing, which will produce sustainable unified cells, starting in 2027.
“Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10-point-plan that we laid out last year, ” said Oliver Blume, CEO Volkswagen Group. “With the decisions for cell production in Canada and a Scout site in South Carolina we’re fast-forwarding the execution of our North American strategy.”
The PowerCo decision to locate its next plant in St. Thomas in Ontario / Canada is a further milestone in the global roll-out of its battery strategy. After Salzgitter and Valencia, this will be the third Group-owned plant worldwide and PowerCo’s first cell factory in North America.
“Our gigafactory in Canada sends a strong message: PowerCo is on track to become a global battery player,” said Thomas Schmall, Board Member for Technology of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE. “With the expansion to North America, we will enter a key market for e-mobility and battery cell production, driving forward our global battery strategy at full speed. Canada and Ontario are perfect partners for scaling up our battery business and green economy jobs, as we share the same values of sustainability, responsibility and cooperation. We are committed to be a reliable partner and good neighbour for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario.“
The gigafactory will equip the Group brand’s BEVs in the region with cutting-edge battery cells—and is part of a larger plan that Volkswagen and PowerCo agreed upon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in August last year. The Memorandum of Understanding signed back then focuses on battery value creation and raw material security in order to promote e-mobility in the country.
“Today’s announcement by Volkswagen is a true testament to our highly skilled workforce and Canada’s strong and growing battery ecosystem,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “VW’s decision to establish its first overseas gigafactory in Canada speaks to our country’s competitiveness when it comes to attracting major investments. It is also a vote of confidence in Canada as the green supplier of choice to the world. With Volkswagen and PowerCo, our government looks forward to working together towards a cleaner, more sustainable and resilient economy.“
While PowerCo is to become a key player in the development of the battery value stream in North America, Canada offers ideal conditions, including the local supply of raw materials and wide access to clean electricity.