Stellantis pauses construction on EV battery plant amid government dispute
May 15, 2023
By The Canadian Press
One of the world’s largest automakers said on May 15 that it has stopped construction on a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., saying the federal government has not delivered on what was promised.
Stellantis, which makes Chrysler, Ram and Fiat cars among others, and South Korean battery-maker LG Energy Solution announced the plant last year and said it was expected to create 2,500 jobs.
All levels of government were to provide financial support. While the amounts were not disclosed at the time, Stellantis now says the federal government has not held up its end of the bargain.
“As of today, the Canadian government has not delivered on what was agreed to therefore Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will begin implementing their contingency plans,” the company said in a statement.
“Effective immediately, all construction related to the battery module production on the Windsor site has stopped.”
The federal government says negotiations are ongoing.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the federal government needs to support Stellantis in the same way it did Volkswagen. A recently announced deal with that company to build an electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont., includes subsidies worth up to $13 billion plus a $700 million grant.
“It really worries me,” Ford said after an unrelated announcement in Mississauga, Ont. “We need the federal government to come to the table and show their support like they have all along.”
The province put up $500 million for both deals, Ford said, and is ensuring roads and energy for the plant.
“We’ll go toe to toe with any state down in the United States,” he said. “The only thing we can’t do is go toe to toe with the U.S. federal government. That’s the federal Canadian government’s job, and they can do it. We’re confident that they made a promise to the people of Windsor – I was down there with the prime minister – now they need to keep their promise to the people in Windsor.”
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