Liberal Forecast Fumble: 20 Years to Break Even on EV Auto Investments?

A recent analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has revealed that it will take two decades for the Canadian federal government to recoup its massive $28.2 billion production subsidy investment into its EV ventures in St. Thomas and Windsor.

According to the report unveiled on Tuesday, it’s not until 2043 that the two much-touted battery plants will have generated a federal and provincial tax revenue that equals the massive subsidy outlay. In a further thorn to the Liberal’s side, the PBO’s timeline significantly contrasts the government’s own math calculations that projected a payback 15 years sooner.

“The break-even timeline for the $28.2 billion in production subsidies announced for Stellantis-LGES and Volkswagen is estimated to be 20 years, significantly longer than the Government’s estimate of a payback within five years for Volkswagen,” said PBO Yves Giroux as cited by CBC News.

The Government’s commitment to bolstering Canada’s automotive sector became evident this spring when Ottawa pledged a hefty $13 billion in subsidies to Volkswagen for the upcoming decade. This investment was aimed at anchoring the colossal battery plant in St. Thomas, a facility so expansive that it could sprawl across an area equivalent to 391 football fields.

In a parallel development, the joint venture Stellantis-LG found itself at a crossroads earlier this summer. Construction activities at their Windsor plant were paused, a direct consequence of their demand for a financial commitment that exceeded the original $500 million. The government took the bait and promised up to $15 billion in subsidies, leading to construction resuming. This battery powerhouse is set to open its doors in 2024 with about 2,500 employees clocking in.

In terms of financial allocations, the weight of these subsidies will predominantly be borne by the Liberals, which will fund around two-thirds of the total amount, equivalent to $18.8 billion. The remaining financial responsibility, amounting to $9.4 billion, will be shouldered by Ontario. However, as of now, Ontario remains tight-lipped, having not yet disclosed a break-even timeline for the Windsor-based establishment.

Information for this story was found via CBC News. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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