PowerCo's largest Battery gigafactory in Canada targets 90 GWh production capacity
Volkswagen Group's battery company PowerCo SE that is building its largest gigafactory to date in St. Thomas, Ontario in Canada is aiming an annual production capacity of up to 90 GWh in the final expansion phase. This is the group's first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing outside Europe, to make unified cells for EVs in North America.
The facility will equip the Group brands' BEVs in the North American region with cutting-edge unified cells, a whole new cell technology designed for volume production, the company claims.
The decision to expand PowerCo SE's cell production network to Canada hints at VW Group's ambitious growth strategy in the region. This includes the introduction of the broadest portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the United States and Canada by 2030, the expansion of Electrify America's coast-to-coast charging network in the U.S. and Canada, along with the announcement of 'Scout' brand to deliver its first all-electric vehicles in 2026.
Frank Blome, CEO of PowerCo SE, commented on the development, "We are honoured to partner with Canada, Ontario, and the City of St. Thomas to take the EV industry to a new level".
He said, "PowerCo was founded in Europe to make a difference in the battery business, offering cutting-edge cell technology and sustainable manufacturing. That includes the creation of up to 3,000 new jobs and great working conditions for our employees in theSt. Thomas area. We share the same values and are committed to be a reliable partner for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario."
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The cell factory is being built over an area of around 370 acres, with the entire industrial and supplier park amounts to 1,500 acres. The site is at the heart of the Great Lakes Automotive Corridor, and near major cities such as Toronto and Detroit. That gives PowerCo prime access to the regional research and innovation cluster, talented workforce, good transport infrastructure and established supply chains, according to the company. Furthermore, the cell factory will be supplied with 100 percent CO2-free energy.
Ontario is emerging as a leader in the global automotive industry, and right on track to become a powerhouse in the emerging EV space. With more than 700 automotive-related companies, full access to critical minerals and its end-to-end, ethical battery supply chain, Ontario is attracting huge EV investments. Since 2020, Ontario has attracted almost CAD$ 13 billion in electric vehicle and EV battery investments.
Volkswagen set up PowerCo SE in Germany bundling the Group's global battery business across the entire value chain – from raw material supply and development to the construction and operation of gigafactories. Since its launch in July 2022, PowerCo SE has decided on the location of three cell factories in Salzgitter, Valencia and St. Thomas in North America.