NextStar Energy, a joint venture between Stellantis N.V. (STLA-N) and LG Energy Solutions, has begun hiring 130 employees as its first batch of workers for its upcoming $5-billion Windsor, Ont. electric vehicle (EV) battery facility.
Thirty of the employees will be professional staff to launch and grow the business operations, while 100 will be the core team of production engineers and technicians. The latter team will begin an international training program in October, learning how to run a large-scale lithium-ion battery plant at existing plants in Poland, China and South Korea.
The 4.5-million-square-foot Windsor plant will begin operations in Q2 2024, and will begin producing EV battery electrodes and cells in early 2025. As of April 2022, it represented the largest private sector investment in Ontario history. It will have a production capacity of over 49 gigawatt-hours, and will be able to produce enough batteries to power 500,000 EVs per year.
"Employees are the most important asset in building lithium-ion batteries, and we plan to invest significantly in making sure that our employees are ready to manage the complicated process and equipment," Danies Lee, CEO of NextStar Energy, said in a statement.
"We are excited to become a leading employer in Windsor and look forward to offering exciting jobs where people can develop the skills they need to build long-term careers in this important and growing industry."
Stellantis’ Windsor plant
The Windsor plant will be located on 220 acres at EC Row Avenue and Banwell Road and extends south to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.
Stellantis is the owner of 16 auto brands including Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge and Jeep. Headquartered in the Netherlands, it is aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2038, with a 50 per cent reduction by 2030.
The recently-announced NextStar team will be responsible for launching production at the battery plant and training the thousands of employees who will be hired from now until 2025. The company’s plan is to have 2,500 employees in place by early 2025.
Some of the jobs listed include accounting manager, environment specialist, electrode/cell technician and mechanical utility engineer.
"We are grateful to the Canadian, Ontario and Windsor governments for their investments," Lee said. "Through our partnership we are revolutionizing the North American EV industry, and ensuring the proud tradition of automotive production in Windsor continues for future generations, by turning the region into the leading EV battery hub on the continent."
In May 2022, Stellantis announced a $3.6-billion investment in its Windsor and Brampton, Ont. plants to retool them to produce EVs. In June of that year, it announced plans to build an EV capable of driving 804 kilometres on a single charge.
The Windsor plant will stop building the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger in 2024.
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