Canada opens first full-scale electric vehicle plant

INGERSOLL, Ont. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford marked a Canadian milestone Monday, celebrating the launch of the country’s first full-scale electric vehicle manufacturing plant.

Trudeau said electric delivery vans started rolling off the line earlier in the day at the General Motors CAMI production plant in Ingersoll, Ont., retooled to build the company’s BrightDrop all-electric vehicles.

He said the plant’s transformation happened in “record time” after the company announced the plan in April.

“Every government in the world would love to invest millions of dollars to draw in places like this,” Trudeau said during a news conference at the plant in southwestern Ontario.

The provincial and federal governments each invested $259 million toward GM’s $2-billion plan for the Ingersoll plant and to overhaul its Oshawa, Ont., plant to make it EV-ready.

The federal government says the Ingersoll plant is expected to manufacture 50,000 electric vehicles by 2025.

Ford called GM’s commitment to the plant “a massive vote of confidence” in Ontario but said there was more work to do given the uncertain economy.

“We’ve brought back the auto sector,” he said. “These vehicles are going to be produced with clean steel, clean energy and great people.”

Canada intends to bar the sale of new internal-combustion engines in passenger vehicles by 2035.