Briefing

Governments to spend $590 million to bring electric vehicles to Ford Oakville

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The federal and Ontario governments will each contribute $295 million to the Ford plant in Oakville, Ont. as part of a combined $1.8-billion investment to turn the factory into an electric-vehicle manufacturing hub. Ford plans to make five different models of battery-powered electric vehicles in the plant starting 2026. Batteries for the vehicles will also be assembled at the plant, according to Dean Stoneley, the president and CEO of Ford Canada. “Support from the federal and provincial governments were crucial in securing this transformational investment,” Stoneley said. (CBC News, The Logic)

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Talking point: Ford’s commitment to bringing electric vehicles to Oakville hinged on government support. Global sales of electric vehicles in China, Europe and North America were still just 4.8 per cent of total vehicle sales in 2019, and the Big Three automakers have so far been reluctant to aggressively pivot to EVs. Ford had assigned no new products to the Oakville plant beyond 2023—the electric-vehicle initiative guarantees at least 3,000 of the current 3,400 jobs will still be around in six years, according to Unifor national president Jerry Dias. “The auto industry is not a sunset industry, but a sunrise industry,” he declared at Thursday’s announcement, flanked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.