Joint support of $1 billion from the Ontario and Canadian governments helped sweeten the pot, only weeks after Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced a $5-billion battery factory in Windsor
The Netherlands-based automaker Stellantis is investing $3.6 billion to retool and modernize its Windsor and Brampton assembly plants in Ontario to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles, as part of the company’s $45-billion commitment to EVs and new software through to 2025. The company plans to phase out internal combustion engines and become carbon-net zero by 2038.
“Windsor is going to be retooled to produce a new multi-energy vehicle architecture and provide battery electric vehicle capabilities across multiple models,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Stellantis – North America during a press event held on Monday at the automaker’s Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor.
“Brampton is going to be transformed…and beginning in 2024 when production resumes, [and] the beginning of 2025, the plant is going to introduce all-new flexible architecture to support the company’s EV plans, including full battery electric vehicles.”
The models of EVs that will be manufactured at the Ontario Stellantis factories will be announced in the future, added Stewart. Currently, the Windsor plant makes the Chrysler Pacifica, Voyager and Grand Caravan, while the Brampton location produces three other gas-powered cars: the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300. As part of the retooling process, both plants will return to three-shift operations.
For its part, the Ontario government is contributing $287 million to overhaul Stellantis’ Windsor plant and $132 million for the Brampton facility. In addition, $94 million will be given to building two new research and development centres focused on electric vehicles and EV battery technology in Windsor.
In total, the province is planning to invest up to $513 million in the four projects, with the federal government pledging to match that contribution.
“We’ve reached a deal with Stellantis to make this Windsor plant and the one in Brampton global leaders on building electric vehicles,” said prime minister Justin Trudeau. “Not only are we growing a world-leading auto industry, creating hundreds of jobs and securing thousands more, [but] we’re also keeping our air clean by building and driving more EVs here at home.”
Research and development included
Stellantis will also be modernizing its existing automotive research and development centre in Windsor by adding two new “Centres of Competency.” The expansion project will cost a total of $626 million.
“We’ve got an electric vehicle centre of competency and that is going to serve Stellantis’ global needs with regards to technology, process and product development for the electric vehicles,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, in an interview with Electric Autonomy Canada. “And there’s also the establishment of the battery pack testing centre of competency and of course, as it sounds, that will serve as North America’s testing ground for battery packs that are going to go into the company’s vehicles.”
“This is a really attractive, new type of investment, that they’re making here in Windsor. Very, very exciting to see that this will be the North American centre.”
The expansion of both Stellantis research facilities will add 650 jobs to Windsor and will allow local talent, universities, colleges and start-ups to participate in the growth of EVs in Ontario’s ecosystem.
This latest announcement is the second in just two months from Stellantis related to electric vehicles in Ontario. In March, the company announced a $5-billion partnership with LG Energy Solution for a battery cell manufacturing factory in Windsor. That venture will create an additional 2,500 jobs. Overall, the company is investing $8.6 billion to transitions its Canadian operations.
Last pre-election announcement
With the Ontario provincial election a month away, Fideli said no further announcements related to auto manufacturing and EVs should be expected before the vote.
“But we will continue to work for additional transformative auto investments, batteries, critical minerals, battery, the precursor cathodes, we’re going to be working on all of these investments for Ontario,” he said.