Ford Motor Company has announced that it will spend Canadian $1.8 billion (US$1.3 billion) to transform its assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario. With the funds, they plan to turn the area into Canada’s largest electric vehicle campus. This area will produce next-generation EVs and battery packs for the North American market.
The vehicle hub, which has been known for developing the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus for more than a decade, will be renamed the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex. Although Ford has a good history of retooling some of its existing plants, this is the first time that the company will implement a transformation project in North America for manufacturing EVs.
Plans for the building
Ford stated they are planning to complete the transformation in six months and start the production work starting the second quarter of 2024. The upgrade includes completely transforming the existing facility by reworking all of its infrastructure. This includes the land, buildings, and roadways, as well as quickly formulating a manufacturing system that only produces EVs.
Apart from the new building, Ford plans to build a new 407,000-square battery plant. It will use cells and arrays from a Battery Park in Kentucky which is also currently under construction. Workers will put together the selected cells into battery packs. These packs will be subsequently installed in the vehicles manufactured at the factory.
However, the company has not yet given a clear explanation regarding the plant’s manufacturing capacity or the type of vehicles they are planning to build. It was previously announced by Ford that they have high ambitions to build five distinct EVs in Oakville. The retooling in Oakville is just a small portion of a far more extensive upgrade that Ford has undertaken in recent times. It is one of the first steps in the company’s journey to achieve its goal of manufacturing more than 2 million EVs a year by the start of 2027.
In Tennessee, the company is currently building a $5.6 billion complex known as “BlueOval”, which will begin producing next-generation electric trucks and battery packs in the first half of 2025. In addition to that, Ford has revealed plans to transform its assembly plant in Cologne, Germany. This is to build the new Explorer EV and has also initiated three other massive projects in North America.
As of now, the Oakville plant will continue its focus on producing the internal combustion engine-powered Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus until its renovation at the beginning of the next year. The company is looking forward to releasing its first EVs on the road in the second quarter of 2025. With its significant investments to transform and build new EV plants across the world, Ford is setting a strong alarm for its rival companies to shift their focus to EVs as well.