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What Securing the Historic $5-Billion EV Battery Plant Will Mean for this Region

Governments of all levels put up hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money as incentive to lure the $5 billion electric vehicle battery plant to Windsor and that includes a sizeable contribution from the city.

In the next two years, a 4.5 million square foot, 45 gigawatt capacity EV battery manufacturing facility will occupy roughly 220 acres of recently acquired lands south of E.C. Row and west of Banwell Road in Windsor, Ont. […]

“This city couldn’t afford to miss this opportunity.” [says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens].

The city is also providing a 20-year incremental property tax rebate under the community improvement plan.

Preliminary estimates peg the annual rebate at approximately $3.5 million dollars, which will equate to a $70 million tax holiday after 20 years.

“So for 20 years, it’s a small investment to make to realize year 21 through hopefully year 100 of the investment that will come through property taxes,” the mayor says.

Detroit-based MotorTrend editor Alisa Priddle says some people will call all of these incentives “corporate welfare,” but argues it’s necessary in order to secure big private investments.

“Without incentives we would not have gotten it,” Priddle says.

Priddle had the occasion to interview Stellantis chief executive officer Carlos Tavares in recent weeks, who noted Canada is a higher cost jurisdiction, therefore making it an underdog in landing a battery plant investment. She says other factors, like talent, location and financial incentives made it more plausible.

“Canada has lost out over the years on millions and millions of location choices because they did not play the game or they didn’t play it to the same level,” she says.

“If you don’t buy the ticket you don’t get to play the game,” says Peter Frise, an automotive, mechanical and materials engineering professor at the University of Windsor.

He says luck had nothing to do with landing the manufacturing facility, and notes incentives more than likely helped seal the deal. […]

WEtech Alliance has served as a catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, Ontario regions since 2011. We’re a non-profit organization that provides entrepreneurs and companies with business services, training, I.P. and commercialization support, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation.

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