Stellantis has confirmed that $3.6 billion will be invested overhauling its assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton in Ontario as part of the conglomerate’s move towards full electrification.
This is the latest step in Stellantis’ ‘Dare Forward 2030’ strategy, a program that will see emissions reduced by 50 per cent by 2030 ahead of a net-zero quota by 2038, and “more than 75 BEVs” on its multi-brand global portfolio by the end of the decade. Up to $45 billion is set to be dedicated to Stellantis’ electrification and software development globally through 2025.
Of this latest investment, the federal government is contributing $529 million, while the Ontario government is adding $513 million.
The $3.6 billion investment – more than double the $1.5 billion originally penned for the project during initial talks in 2020 – also raises Stellantis’ fiscal backing in Ontario to $8.6 billion. A key proponent of this is a new battery plant to be constructed in Windsor as part of a joint-venture between Stellantis and LG Electronics. Announced in March, $5 billion has been dedicated to the new facility – specializing in lithium-ion battery cell and module production – with production targeted to begin in early 2024.
The revamped Windsor Assembly Plant, intriguingly, will be “transformed to support production of a new multi-energy vehicle (MEV) architecture.” Few details are provided, though it is expected the new architecture will underpin select battery-electric models across Stellantis’ range, the ‘multi-energy’ tag suggesting that ICE models will also roll off the production line in the short-term.
Retooling for EV production in Windsor is expected to begin next year, with production volumes likely to adjust as needed to meet market demands.
Work on the Brampton Assembly Plant meanwhile will begin in 2024, with full production targeted to resume from 2025 onwards. Like Windsor, an “all-new, flexible architecture,” dedicated to EVs, will be introduced at the plant, but again, no further details are provided.
“These investments reaffirm our long-term commitment to Canada and represent an important step as we move toward zero-emission vehicles that deliver on our customers’ desire for innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility,” Stellantis North America COO Mark Stewart explains. “We’re grateful to both the federal and provincial governments for their shared vision to create a sustainable future. And, to Unifor and our workforce for their support in helping ensure the viability of our Canadian operations for the long-term.”
Windsor’s Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC), opened in 1996, will also receive a 100,000-square-foot extension with development dedicated to battery cell and module “advancement” for use across Stellantis’ BEV, PHEV and HEV range. The battery lab is expected to create “more than 650 highly skilled engineering jobs in various areas” as the Windsor-based facility looks to emulate Stellantis’ current, state of the art battery facility in Turin, Italy. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.