By James Hyland
BOSTON, August 17 – In a major development in the rapidly growing electric vehicle segment, Ford Motor Co (F.N) and South Korean companies have announced that they will be building a new plant in Bécancour, Québec. The plant will produce electric vehicle (EV) battery materials at an estimated investment of C$1.2 billion ($887 million).
Ford says the cathode materials facility, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River halfway between Montreal and Québec City, will create 345 jobs once it’s operational in 2026.
“This investment shows once again that Canada is the green strategic partner of choice for global leaders in the automotive industry. Today, we are strengthening Quebec’s key position in the electric vehicle supply chain, while continuing to build Canada’s battery ecosystem. This investment is good for the environment and for the economy, and it will help maintain well-paying jobs for years to come.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry
The plant will be jointly owned by Ford Motor Co and SK Innovation Co Ltd (096770.KS), one of the leading global manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The brilliant move is aimed at enhancing the supply of key battery components required in the production of EVs, in order to meet the growing demand for sustainable transportation solutions.
“Through the cathode joint venture, the three companies can have a stable supply of battery raw materials in North America. We will continue to work with our partners to lead electrification of the global auto market.” – Min-suk Sung, Chief Commercial Officer, SK On
Companies like Transition Metals Corp. (XTM –TSXV), Québec Nickel Corp. (CSE: QNI), and Lominko Metals Inc. (TSX-V: LMR) are poised to benefit due to their strategic focus on battery metals projects and their proximity to the battery plant in Québec, and will enhance their potential by reducing transportation costs and increasing supply chain efficiency.
The new plant will create around 200 permanent jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs, making it one of the largest job creators in the region. With the ever-increasing demand for EVs worldwide, the plant is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of Québec and Canada as a whole.
The decision to build the plant in Bécancour was based on several factors, including the region’s proximity to major markets in Canada and the United States, its highly skilled workforce, and the abundance of clean energy sources. The plant is expected to be operational by 2023 and will have a production capacity of around 7.5 gigawatts per hour, further expanding the country’s capacity for clean energy production.
The announcement comes as part of an ambitious plan by the Canadian government to become a leader in the global EV market. The plan includes a target to sell only zero-emission vehicles in the country by 2035, with investments in charging infrastructure, battery production, and other key areas.
“Ford has been serving customers in Canada for 119 years, longer than any other automaker. We’re pleased to be investing in these new facilities to create a vertically integrated, closed-loop battery assembly supply chain in North America. This site is designed to help make electric vehicles more accessible for millions of people over time. We’re excited to be able to make our first-ever investment in Québec, establishing new facilities that will help shape the EV ecosystem in this province.” – Bev Goodman, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada
The project is a clear indication of the growing importance of EVs in the automotive industry, and the significant role that Canadian companies can play in the global supply chain for EV components. With the increasing demand for EVs, this new plant will help forge a new path for car manufacturers that prioritize sustainable production.
In summary, Ford’s decision to plant its flag in Québec is more than just an investment; it’s an affirmation of the province’s potential in shaping the future of mobility. As the race to electrify the automotive world heats up, Québec is gearing up to be at the forefront, driving change and innovation.