Volkswagen is looking to beef up its battery business and localize cell production for its electric vehicles. It has taken another step toward that goal by announcing subsidiary PowerCo's first North American battery cell factory, which it will build in Canada.
The automaker's first cell manufacturing gigafactory outside of Europe will build sustainable unified cells and it will be located in St. Thomas, Ontario. VW said in a statement that Canada was an ideal location due to the supply of raw materials from local sources and "wide access to clean electricity." More details about the gigafactory will be revealed later, but VW plans for production to start in 2027. Last year, VW said it planned to build six PowerCo factories in Europe, starting in Salzgitter, Germany and Valencia, Spain.
The news comes just a week after VW confirmed plans for a factory in South Carolina, where it will build electric pickups and SUVs under its new Scout brand. VW expects to manufacture more than 200,000 EVs at the plant every year as part of its strategy to have a stronger foothold in North America. Production is slated to start by the end of 2026.