Volkswagen is narrowing in on a location for a new battery factory with Ontario, Canada, thought to be a frontrunner.
The German automaker signed a non-binding agreement with Canada’s federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, in December 2022, acknowledging that it was considering Canada as a location for a battery manufacturing site.
New information uncovered in lobbyist registry documents filed with the province of Ontario in late 2022 reveal that the province officials have offered investment and incentive contributions for the project, Electric Autonomy reports.
“Ontario has offered to support the project through investment and other incentive contributions to allow the project to be successful and competitive with other locations that are being considered,” the document reveals. “As we continue discussions with officials, we will be working to advise Ontario and craft the most effective ways that Ontario can contribute and support all investments related to the overall project that will increase Ontario’s chance of winning the investment.”
Read: VW Looks To Canada For First Battery Manufacturing Plant Outside Europe
The document states that Volkswagen is investigating the “potential development of a manufacturing plant, supporting infrastructure and utilities, labour pool, labour training, raw material supply, and potential financial incentives.”
Importantly, the document notes that Volkswagen will only make a decision on whether to establish the factory in Ontario “or another location in North America” when the investigation and discussions are complete.
If VW does find a location for a battery factory in Canada, it will be the carmaker’s first outside of Europe. It will also come after VW announced an MoU with Belgium’s Umicore that has separately committed to spending CA$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) to build a manufacturing plant for cathode and precursor battery materials in Kingston, Ontario. VW says cathodes represent about 50 percent of the total value in a battery cell and wants to secure enough cathodes to supply 550,000 EVs for its new North American battery plant.