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VW Group's PowerCo SE to build its third Battery gigafactory in Canada

From left: Oliver Blume, CEO Volkswagen Group; Thomas Schmall, Group Board Member Technology; Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

The Volkswagen Group is stepping up its activities in North America in a bid to take a strong position in the important growth market for battery electric vehicles. The Group's battery company PowerCo has selected St. Thomas in Ontario, Canada to establish Volkswagen's first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing, which will produce sustainable unified cells. 

The start of production is planned for 2027. The decision to expand the PowerCo cell production ramp-up from Europe to Canada hints at the ambitious growth strategy of the VW Group in North America and global roll-out. 

Oliver Blume, CEO Volkswagen Group, commented on the development, "Our North American strategy is a key priority in our 10-point-plan that we've laid out last year. 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."

After Salzgitter and Valencia, this will be the third group-owned plant worldwide, also PowerCo's first cell factory in North America. It will equip the brand's BEVs in the region with cutting-edge battery cells, while also focussing on battery value creation and raw material security in order to promote e-mobility in the country, the company claims. 

RELATED: VW sets up 'PowerCo' battery company; to set up 40 GWh cell factory in Germany

Thomas Schmall, Board Member for Technology of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PowerCo SE said, "Our gigafactory in Canada sends a strong message: PowerCo is on track to become a global battery player. 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", he added. 

Last year, VW Group established a new subsidiary called Scout Motors to build electric SUVs and pick-up trucks for the North American markets. Scout vehicles are being designed and developed from the ground up on a new all-electric platform that emphasizes off-road capability, it claims. 

RELATED: PowerCo signs collaboration agreement for Sagunto battery plant in Spain

Further, the company plans to introduce more than 25 new BEV models through 2030 in the US. It has ramped up its all-electric ID.4 compact SUV production in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with plans to upgrade the plants in Puebla and Silao in Mexico for the assembly of BEVs and components such as electric motors in the second half of the decade.

On the charging infra side, Volkswagen Group is expanding its 'Electrify America', with a coast-to-coast charging network in the U.S. and Canada with 800 stations or 3,500 DC fast chargers powered by renewable energy with a 'Boost Plan' to more than doubling this number by 2026.

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