CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Conflicting reports about state of Windsor EV battery plant negotiations

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During happier times, government and Stellantis-LG Energy Solution officials pose to celebrate the start of construction of a new electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor. 

There are conflicting reports about the status of government negotiations with Stellantis-LG Energy Solution over the NextStar electric battery plant project for Windsor.

The Toronto Star reported that a tentative deal had been reached. But CBC reports that “multiple senior government sources with knowledge of the negotiations” say there is no deal yet but add “there’s been a lot of progress in the last 24 hours.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens also called the Toronto Star report “premature.”

“What I’m hearing is that there is no deal yet, that negotiations are ongoing,” Dilkens told CBC News, noting that he’s hopeful that things are moving in the right direction.

In an email response to CBC News, the automaker denied that a tentative deal had been worked out.

“Stellantis does not confirm what has been reported and to date has not received an official response from its previously sent letters,” said Stellantis spokesperson LouAnn Gosselin.

Stellantis halted most of the construction at the facility, which was due to open in 2024, about three weeks ago. It claimed Ottawa wasn’t honouring an agreement related to the project and that it would move to “contingency plans.” 

The deal for the facility, , was upended by the passage of the United States Inflation Reduction Act, which includes production incentives for companies building electric vehicle batteries stateside. 

Ottawa had agreed to contribute $500 million towards the plant but that deal was struck before the U.S. introduced its Inflation Reduction Act. Canada’s subsequent deal with Volkswagen to build its own EV battery plant in Windsor included subsidies worth up to $13 billion plus a $700-million grant.

It now seems Stellantis and LG now want a similar deal.

Ontario has now committed to paying a third of the cost to keep the plant in Windsor, premier Doug Ford said Thursday, adding that the province and the federal government are “inches” away from a deal without providing financial details.

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has also said they were getting close to a deal and that he made an offer similar to what the federal government and Ontario gave Volkswagen for the electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont. 

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