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GM to invest $7 billion in Michigan plants, mostly for battery cells and electric trucks

GM has announced new investment of more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites, calling it “the single largest investment announcement in GM history.” Most of the new investment, which is expected to create 4,000 new jobs, is aimed at increasing battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity.

Projects include the construction of a new Ultium Cells plant in Lansing and the conversion of GM’s assembly plant in Orion Township for production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra. GM says the new investment will support an increase in electric truck production capacity to 600,000 units once both Factory ZERO and the Orion facilities are fully ramped.

“Today we are taking the next step in our continuous work to establish GM’s EV leadership by making investments in our vertically integrated battery production in the US, and our North American EV production capacity,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “Our plan creates the broadest EV portfolio of any automaker and further solidifies our path toward US EV leadership by mid-decade.”

At the Orion assembly plant, GM will invest $4 billion to convert the facility to produce electric trucks using the Ultium Platform. Electric truck production, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV and electric GMC Sierra, will begin at Orion in 2024. Expansion at the site will include new body and paint shops and new general assembly and battery pack assembly areas. Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV will continue during the plant’s conversion.

Orion Assembly will be GM’s third US assembly plant to be transformed for production of Ultium-powered EVs. GM assembly plants slated for conversion to build EVs include: Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan; Spring Hill Assembly in Spring Hill, Tennessee; CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario; and Ramos Arizpe Assembly in Mexico. By the end of 2025, GM plans to have more than a million units of EV capacity in North America.

GM and LG Energy Solution, via their Ultium Cells joint venture, are investing $2.6 billion to build Ultium Cells’ third US battery cell manufacturing plant in Lansing, joining plants currently under construction in Ohio and Tennessee. Site preparations will begin this summer, and battery cell production is scheduled to begin in late 2024. Ultium Cells Lansing will supply battery cells to Orion Assembly and other GM assembly plants. Ultium Cells expects the facility to have 50 GWh of annual battery cell capacity when ramped up to full production.

“With a shared vision, GM and LG Energy Solution pioneered the EV sector by seizing new opportunities in the market well before anyone else did,” said Young-Soo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “Our third battery manufacturing plant, fittingly located in America’s automotive heartland, will serve as a gateway to charge thousands and later millions of EVs in the future.”

Ultium batteries feature large-format, pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This is designed to allow engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range of up to 450 miles.

Most of GM’s future Ultium-powered EVs will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability, while GM’s truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to strengthen our Michigan and US manufacturing presence and grow good-paying jobs,” said Mary Barra.  “We will have the products, the battery cell capacity and the vehicle assembly capacity to be the EV leader by mid-decade.”

Source: GM

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