Ford to build five EVs in Canada starting in 2025

According to the Toronto Star, Ford Motor Co. (Ford) will build five electric vehicles at a Canadian factory, as part of a deal with Unifor, the union representing Canada’s autoworkers. Unifor president Jerry Dias, who called the agreement a “homerun”, has been arguing for some time that leading auto manufacturers need to commit to bringing EV manufacturing to Canada and called on the government to do more “to utilize our manufacturing footprint.”

The federal government appears to have heeded that call, telling the Ford Motor Co. that “it is willing to do what it takes to bring electric vehicle production to Ontario”, according to a story published in the Toronto Star. What it “took” was an agreement to invest up to $500 million to finance plant upgrades required for the switchover to EV production at Ford’s assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario.

The agreement is for a three-year national labor contract covering 5,400 unionized works and includes a $1.98 billion investment from Ford, a portion of which will be spent on its two engine-assembly plants in Windsor, Ontario. Electric-vehicle production will start in 2025 — with the last of the five planned models entering production in 2028 — though it is still unclear which models will be built in Oakville. 

The Oakville factory currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus crossovers. It was previously considered a closure risk because Ford had not committed to building new versions of the aging models.

The first of Ford’s new-generation EVs to be built in the United States will be the F-150 Electric pickup truck, in Michigan. Ford confirmed that in late 2019, and recently said the electric truck will arrive in 2022.

The pandemic already derailed plans for a Lincoln EV, based on Rivian’s “skateboard” platform and built at the company’s Illinois factory. Ford, which owns a stake in Rivian, still plans to collaborate with the company on an unspecified future model, however. Lincoln is still planning an electric vehicle, and Mustang Mach-E’s scalable platform is expected to spawn additional models. Perhaps some of these will be allocated to Oakville.

Photo : Ford

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