Prime minister Justin Trudeau is using a multi-billion dollar announcement for Volkswagen to promote the green economy.

Trudeau says people have been critical of the Liberals, but VW's announcement of a new EV plant and a battery factory, shows they are on the right track.

"Unbelievably there are still those who continue to say there is a choice to be made between protecting the environment and growing the economy," Trudeau told an audience in St. Thomas, Ontario.

"No-one should continue to doubt that building a strong economy must go hand-in-hand with clean air and a brighter future for this country."

Trudeau also took the opportunity to take a shot at the leader of the opposition.

"Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, no relation to the Progressive Conservatives of Ontario, came out and said this project was a waste of money.  Because confident countries invest in their workers.  Confident countries invest in their future.  And that exactly what we're doing."

Trudeau says the $13 billion in subsidies that Canada has invested in the VW plants, will be paid back in spin-offs within five years.

VW is investing $7 billion to establish its first overseas electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, which will create up to 3,000 direct jobs and up to 30,000 indirect jobs.

Once complete in 2027, the plant will produce batteries for up to one million electric vehicles per year.