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

Could there be another large-scale electric vehicle battery plant coming to Ontario?

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The answer is yes and it could be located in the London region, according to a report in the London Free Press.

The Ontario government is talking with several electric vehicle battery manufacturers to open another plant in Ontario, Vic Fedeli, Ontario economic development minister, told the media Thursday. Automakers ramping up to build electric vehicles in the province want to ensure they have nearby sources for the production of the batteries which will power their vehicles.

If more battery plants are in Ontario’s future, London and Southwestern Ontario have to be looked at as a possible new home, the London Free Press stated quoting “industry observers who spoke on condition of anonymity” who believe Ford of Canada is looking to open a battery manufacturing plant in Ontario with an industry partner, and has looked at the London and St. Thomas area.

The London Free Press also included Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, saying he wouldn’t discount it because London is a player when it comes to major automotive assembly and potential investors understand its labour pool and easy transportation access.

Volpe would like to see an electric vehicle battery supply chain extending from Quebec to Windsor with London as an important stop along the route.

There have been a number of historic announcements in Ontario’s automotive sector recently, automaker Stellantis partnering with battery maker LG Energy Solution on a $5-billion investment to build Canada’s first large-scale vehicle electric battery plant in Windsor. Auto parts manufacturer Magna is also expanding its electric vehicle components operations into Chatham, as an extension of its current operations in St. Thomas. The move is intended to support new business from Ford Motor Company and will produce battery enclosures for the Ford F-150 Lighting. The new 170,000 square foot facility is expected to create up to 150 new jobs. Battery enclosures, which all electric vehicles require, house high-voltage batteries, electrical components, sensors and connectors, contributing to the structural and safety aspects of a vehicle’s frame and protecting critical components from potential impact, heat and water. 

GM Canada also made a blockbuster announcement with its $2 billion plan for the Cami plant in Ingersoll to assemble two electric commercial vans while the company plans to add another shift and a second pickup truck at its Oshawa plant. Ford meanwhile has pledged $1.8 billion to make electric vehicles at its Oakville plant, and Honda a $1.4-billion investment for hybrid vehicle production in Alliston.

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