Volkswagen Group is set to build its largest gigafactory in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, as part of its strategy to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption in North America. The gigafactory, which represents an investment of up to €4.8 billion ($5.7 billion) until 2030, is expected to have an annual production capacity of up to 90 GWh. The facility has the potential to create up to 3,000 highly skilled jobs at the factory and tens of thousands more indirect jobs in the region.
Volkswagen’s St. Thomas factory will be its first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing, and will equip the Group brands’ EVs in the North American region with cutting-edge unified cells, a whole new cell technology designed for volume production. Groundbreaking is planned for 2024, with production projected to begin in 2027.
The announcement was made in the presence of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a host of other dignitaries. Ontario offers perfect conditions for EV investments, with more than 700 automotive-related companies, full access to critical minerals, and its end-to-end, ethical battery supply chain.
The decision to expand PowerCo SE’s cell production network to Canada is part of Volkswagen’s ambitious growth strategy in North America, which includes the introduction of the broadest portfolio of full-electric vehicles in the United States and Canada by 2030. The company is also expanding Electrify America’s coast-to-coast charging network in the US and Canada, as well as the announcement of the iconic Scout brand to deliver its first all-electric vehicles in 2026.
The St. Thomas gigafactory is an important milestone in Volkswagen’s roadmap, as it aims to make PowerCo a global player in the battery business and pave the way for clean, sustainable mobility. The facility will become PowerCo SE’s second pillar beside Europe, with battery cells made in North America for North America.
PowerCo SE CEO, Frank Blome, said the company is honored to partner with Canada, Ontario, and the City of St. Thomas to take the EV industry to a new level. He added that PowerCo was founded in Europe to make a difference in the battery business, offering cutting-edge cell technology and sustainable manufacturing. The company is committed to being a reliable partner for the people in St. Thomas and Ontario.
Since 2020, Ontario has attracted almost CAD 13 billion ($10.4 billion) in EV and EV battery investments. The St. Thomas gigafactory will play a critical role in further expanding the province’s EV industry and strengthening its position as a leader in clean, sustainable mobility.
Ontario is quickly becoming a hub for electric vehicle investments and the Volkswagen Group’s decision to build its largest gigafactory in St. Thomas is another vote of confidence for the province’s EV ecosystem. The new factory will create highly skilled jobs and provide a boost to the local economy, while also contributing to Volkswagen’s global strategy to become a leader in electric mobility.
Speaking at the announcement, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the importance of the partnership between Volkswagen and the Canadian government in advancing the country’s clean energy ambitions. “This is a momentous occasion for Canada and for the auto industry. This partnership is about ensuring that Canada is at the forefront of clean and sustainable mobility. We are proud to support Volkswagen’s investment in Canada, which will create good jobs, strengthen our automotive supply chain, and help us reach our net-zero emissions goals,” he said.
The St. Thomas gigafactory is expected to play a key role in meeting Canada’s ambitious target of having all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sold in the country be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. This goal aligns with the government’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and is part of Canada’s overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
Volkswagen’s decision to build its largest gigafactory in Canada also highlights the country’s growing importance as a destination for global investment in clean energy and sustainable technologies. Ontario’s skilled workforce, abundant natural resources, and supportive business environment make it an attractive location for companies looking to innovate and grow in the clean energy sector.
In addition to the St. Thomas gigafactory, Volkswagen is also investing in the expansion of Electrify America’s charging network in the United States and Canada, as well as the launch of its Scout brand of all-electric vehicles in 2026. The company’s ambitious growth strategy in North America is aimed at positioning it as a leader in the electric vehicle market and contributing to a more sustainable future.