Federal officials are planning to meet this week with Honda representatives about the possibility of the Japanese automaker building an electric-vehicle factory in Canada, adding another name to the list of manufacturers Ottawa is courting as part of a multibillion-dollar effort to transform the domestic auto industry ahead of a shift away from fossil fuels.
The meeting has not been publicly announced, but a senior government official told The Globe and Mail on Monday that it will take place this week, and that several federal departments will participate. The official said there had already been a meeting in December between federal representatives and Canadian and international personnel from Honda.
The Globe is not identifying the official, because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the discussions. Japanese news group Nikkei reported on Sunday that spending on the potential electric-vehicle plant could reach $18.5-billion, and that the facility could also produce vehicle batteries.
If Honda’s investment is near that reported figure, it would be by far the biggest by an automaker in Canadian electric-vehicle production to date, dwarfing the roughly $7-billion Volkswagen Group battery factory coming to St. Thomas, Ont., and the roughly $5-billion battery plant being built by Stellantis NV and LG Energy Solution in Windsor, Ont.
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