General Motors confirms $6.6bn investment in EV manufacturing
General Motors (GM) has announced a $6.6bn investment package in electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing in Michigan, as part of its commitment to funnel $35bn into EVs and automated cars by 2025.
The funding package, announced at an event at GM’s head office in Detroit earlier this week, is the company’s largest single investment in electric transport to date.
Part of the funding will enable the company’s existing truck assembly plant in Orion Township to be converted to produce electric models. The facility will be used to manufacture the electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra – a heavy-duty and light-duty truck respectively. The GMC Sierra is due to launch this year, and the electric Chevrolet Silverado in the first half of 2023.
In total, $4bn will go to the plant in Orion Township. GM has stated that the investment will enable the retention of 1,000 jobs and the creation of an additional 2,350 roles. The facility is already producing the Chevrolet Bolt EV and that production line will remain in place during the conversion work.
GM has stated that the plant conversion, when added to its other planned and operational EV manufacturing plants in Detroit, Tennessee, Ontario and Mexico, will enable the company to produce more than one million EVs in North America annually from the end of 2025.
The remaining funding – $2.6bn – will be used to build a battery manufacturing plant, also in Orion Township. GM is building the facility as part of a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions, called Ultium Cells. Battery production is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2024.
A further $510m will be used to upgrade equipment and infrastructure at GM’s two assembly plants in Lansing.
Last year, GM committed to spending $35bn on EVs and automated vehicles by 2025 – a 75% increase on its spending in these areas in the previous five-year cycle. That announcement came after the firm announced a 2040 carbon neutrality target for all operations and products.
A key part of this plan is converting 50% of GM’s vehicle assembly capacity in North America to EVs this decade.
“We will have the products, the battery cell capacity and the vehicle assembly capacity to be the EV leader in North America by mid-decade,” said GM’s chief executive Mary Barra.
The news from GM comes in the same week that luxury automaker Bentley announced a new £2.5bn commitment to launch its first-ever Battery-Powered Electric Vehicle (BEV), with its flagship facility in Crewe confirmed as the location to manufacture its EV portfolio.
Investments will be made in onsite solar panels, new manufacturing equipment and training for staff. Bentley is planning to roll its first BEVs off of the production line at the Crewe campus, which is certified as carbon neutral, in 2025.
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