Ford government’s auto sector strategy focuses on electric, hybrid vehicles

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has unveiled the next phase of his auto sector strategy, which focuses heavily on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Ford was at auto-parts manufacturer Linamar Corp. in Guelph, Ont., Wednesday with Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli to unveil phase two of the plan.

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“It’s a plan that will attract investment, to create good jobs in our steel, auto and manufacturing sectors,” Ford said.

“It’s a plan that will unleash the economic potential of our north as we build up homegrown supply chains for electric vehicles and battery manufacturing right here in Ontario.”

The goals of this phase are introducing automaker mandates for hybrid and electric vehicles, attracting a new battery assembly plant and increasing exports of auto parts and innovations.

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The province said it also wants to establish a supply chain from northern Ontario where minerals in electric vehicle batteries are found.

Ford said to do all this, the province is going to need more skilled workers.

“That’s why our government is expanding job training, it’s why we’re encouraging young people to enter the skilled trades while breaking down barriers that stop hardworking newcomers from finding good jobs because of unfair requirements for in-province experience,” the premier said.

The objective is to build 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles in the province by 2030.

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The province estimated that recent announcements by automakers amount to $4 billion in electric vehicle investments at their assembly plants in Ontario.

This includes GM investing $1 billion in its plant in Ingersoll, Ont., to produce an electric delivery van and Ford Motors investing $1.8 billion to produce battery EVs and five new electric vehicle models at its Oakville location.

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“Ontario is the number one place in the world to build the cars and trucks of the future. We are the world-leading partner in creating the best vehicles with an outstanding labour force, an abundance of clean energy sources,” Ford said.

“With today’s announcement, we are telling the world once again we want your business and there’s no better place for it than right here in Ontario.”

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