Audi EV Factory May Follow VW’s Battery Plant in Ontario

Audi is seriously thinking about building an electric vehicle factory in North America and some analysts believe that Ontario is in a prime position to land it.

Back on March 13, parent company Volkswagen announced plans for a battery production facility in St. Thomas, halfway between Toronto and Windsor. It’s expected to start operations in 2027 and supply batteries not only for Volkswagen models but also Audi and Scout EVs.

Conrad Layson, a senior analyst at AutoForecast Solutions, told Automotive News Canada that there’s “a real possibility” that Audi sets up shop in Ontario given the proximity with the new battery plant. He pointed out that battery cells are extremely delicate and don’t travel well. Therefore, the wise thing to do for automakers is to build EVs as close as possible to those batteries.

Other than Ontario, the neighbouring U.S. state of Michigan could also attract Audi, according to another top expert at AutoForecast Solutions, Sam Fiorani.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Ever since the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act came into effect, prioritizing incentives to companies that build products locally, a number of foreign automakers have ramped up efforts to start making vehicles in the U.S.

Said incentives also apply even when production takes place in Canada. Audi will not discuss plans for a possible EV plant at the moment, and no decision has been made yet, but we could get some answers later in 2023.

Volkswagen Group already has vehicle plants—and a strong base of suppliers—in Tennessee and Mexico, but Canada has attractive expertise, workforce and real estate to add an EV plant at some point during this decade.

The German juggernaut aims to launch more than 25 new EV models in North America across its various brands by 2030. This is when EVs should account for 55 percent of its total sales.

Watch: 2023 Audi Q8 e-tron Review

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