Ford has announced an investment of CAD$1.8 billion (USD$1.3 billion) to convert its Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario into an electric vehicle (EV) production facility. The investment is part of the Detroit-based automaker’s $50 billion commitment to electrification by 2026, and is set to transform the plant into the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex.
The Oakville facility is expected to have the capacity to produce 300,000 electric vehicles per year.
The transformation of the Oakville plant into an EV production site is in line with Ford’s commitment to increase its production of electric vehicles. The company plans to have the capacity to produce 2 million EVs globally by 2026. The Oakville plant will be Ford’s first high-volume transformation of an existing plant in North America to make EVs.
The Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex will also assemble battery packs. The cells and arrays for those packs will come from Kentucky’s $5.8 billion BlueOvalSK Battery Park, which will begin operation in 2025. The conversion process will take six months and is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024. Production for delivery is expected to start in 2025.
The investment is expected to help Ford deliver over 3,000 Canadian jobs. While salaried, skilled-trade, and “some” production workers will continue to work through the transformation process, temporarily laid-off employees will be back before the end of next year, according to Tony Savoni, plant manager.
Ford has not yet revealed which vehicles will replace the gas-powered Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus midsize SUVs, or what their production will be. However, the new vehicles will be built on Ford’s next-generation EV platform. The Canadian investment is part of Ford’s plan to electrify its product line and invest in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The investment is being supported by incentives from the Canadian federal and Ontario’s provincial governments.
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