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Stellantis’s $4 Billion Investment Into Windsor and U.S. Battery Plants

Stellantis and LG Energy Solution in South Korea have announced that they are investing $4 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery plant, which will be located in Windsor, Ontario.

The parent company of Chrysler revealed their new plant Wednesday (March 23rd), and also said that they’re aiming to build a second battery plant at a location in the States, as said by Mark Stewart, chief operating officer for Stellantis in North America. He says that the investment in these places will showcase the brand’s electrification plans.

“It shows … we are absolutely committed to 50% EVs, full on (battery electric vehicles), by the end of the decade,” Stewart said during a press conference from Windsor, which aired via Facebook.

Stellantis previously revealed its agreement with Samsung SDI, a storage battery manufacturing company (based in South Korea) for the U.S., however, Stewart didn’t explicitly mention Samsung as being its additional collaborator for batteries. On top of this, the automaker is aiming for three plants in Europe, revealing in a separate announcement that it’s working to turn the brand’s Termoli plant in Italy into a battery facility, as part of a partnership with Mercedes-Benz.

Construction on the 220-acre in Windsor will likely start later this year, as production is set to launch during the first quarter of 2024, as told in a joint announcement and the press conference. It’s expected to be the first comprehensive EV battery plant in Canada, which also claims to create 2,500  new jobs.

The companies didn’t specify which vehicles would be supplied by the plant’s lithium-ion battery cells and modules, just that it would “meet a significant portion” the company’s production needs in the U.S. Regardless, in tuned with plans for an electric Ram 1500 pickup and Dodge muscle car, which are brands that Stellantis also owns.

Stewart also mentioned that the battery plant would supply the production of vehicles across the States.

Carlos Tavares, Stellantis’s CEO, talked about the company’s plans, which involve $35 billion (30 billion euros) investments, in relation to EVs, across its 14 brands through 2025.

“Our joint venture with LG Energy Solution is yet another stepping stone to achieving our aggressive electrification roadmap in the region aimed at hitting 50 percent of battery electric vehicle sales in the U.S. and Canada by the end of the decade,” Tavares said in a news release. “We are grateful to the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government for their support and commitment to help position Canada as a North American leader in the production of electric vehicle batteries.”

The release didn’t go into detail regarding the nature of public support for the operations, but it did say that every level of government was in full support of the operation.

The release also noted the Windsor region is home to Canada’s largest automotive cluster.

The global semiconductor chip shortage, along with the recent trucker protest that shut down the Ambassador Bridge, highlight the challenges the car industry has faced.

The announcement expressed that the companies “expect the plant to serve as a catalyst for the establishment of a strong battery supply chain in the region. Canada is committed to establishing a broad, local battery ecosystem by leveraging, among other things, its leadership in the generation of electricity from renewable sources.”

Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution, said “through this joint venture, LG Energy Solution will be able to position itself as a critical player in building green energy value chains in the region. Creating a joint venture battery manufacturing company in Canada, recognized as one of the leading nations in renewable energy resources, is key for LG Energy Solution as we aim to power more electric vehicles around the world.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned in a news release that the “announcement of a world leading facility to build electric vehicle batteries in Windsor is an investment in our workers, our communities and our future. Partnerships like these are critical to creating new jobs and putting Canada on the cutting edge of the clean economy.”

Drew Dilkens, Windsor Mayor, also shared in a news release that Stellantis is Windor’s largest employer, with Chrysler’s operations going back to 1925.

“With this announcement, we are securing the future for thousands more local workers and securing Windsor’s strategic location as the home of Canada’s electric vehicle future. As the world pivots to EVs, Windsor will soon be home to the battery manufacturing facility that powers it all,” Dilkens said in the release.

Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for Autotrader, said the news is significant for Canadian auto workers.

“It’s good news for Stellantis’ employees in Canada, who have been worried about where they stand with their jobs. We’ll be looking forward to seeing where Stellantis will be making its EVs,” she said.

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Photo Source/Copyright: Stellantis Media