Producing 45 Gigawatt Hours Every Year
Electric cars need batteries. While that’s kind of an obvious thing to say, batteries – especially electric car batteries – are neither simple nor inexpensive devices, and producing them is not easy. Increasing battery production is an important part of increasing the overall adoption of electric vehicles. And with the a new US$4.1-billion battery factory in Windsor, Canada, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution have just made a huge step towards increasing battery manufacturing in North America.
Stellantis, the parent company of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands, announced that their new joint venture company with LG Energy Solution (LGES) will start construction on its new plant in 2022, with production operations planned to start in the first quarter of 2024. The plant will be able to manufacture batteries with a capacity in excess of 45 gigawatt hours, and it will create an estimated 2,500 new jobs in the surrounding areas. The municipal, provincial, and federal levels of the Canadian government have agreed to fully support the successful operation of the joint venture company.
A New EV Battery Supply Chain
Windsor, Ontario, across the Canadian border from Detroit, is home to Canada’s largest automotive cluster. Stellantis and LGES expect the new plant to help establish of a strong battery supply chain in the region. The joint venture, and its increased battery production, will help Stellantis achieve its stated goal of transitioning 50% of its production to battery electric vehicles by 2030.
Why Canada? LG and Stellantis point to the country’s reputation as one of the leading nations in renewable energy resources. The car company also has deep roots in the Windsor area, and is its largest employer. Chrysler began operations in Windsor in 1925 and has employed generations of Windsor–Essex workers. There is a tight integration with colleagues and facilities in Detroit, as well.
The new factory will connect manufacturing in Windsor – and the broader automotive market – to the resources, industries, and workers in northern Ontario, source for many of the ingredients used in modern EV batteries.
The announcement of the new battery factory helps secure the future for thousands of local automotive workers and 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.
Big Plans For Electric Cars
Stellantis’ plans for the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands to go electric are aggressive. By 2030, the company wants to exceed 5 million battery electric sales globally (it also owns many European brands including Opel, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Maserati, and more). By that time it expects 100% of its passenger cars in Europe to be battery-powered, and 50% of its passenger cars and 50% of its light duty trucks to be EVs in North America.
To support this transition to electric, the company says it will need to increase its annual battery production capacity by 140 GWh (gigawatt hours) to approximately 400 GWh, supported by five battery manufacturing plants like the new Windsor venture with LG, which already has 200 GWh of production capacity in North America – enough to support 2.5 million electric vehicles. The Windsor joint venture with Stellantis forms part of its plans to invest approximately $4.6 billion into battery facilities in North America.