Today, General Motors made its $7 billion plan to expand electric vehicle and EV parts manufacturing in Michigan official. CEO Mary Barra announced the plans to add 4,000 new jobs to the State through EV updates to its factories. Additionally, it will build a new battery factory and convert an existing factory into a hub for manufacturing its electric pickup trucks.
Last week, we reported that GM was planning to invest at least $6.5 billion to develop new facilities in Michigan and contribute 4,000 new jobs while retaining an additional 1,000.
“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 U.S. and our North American EV production capacity,” Mary Barra, CEO and Chairwoman of General Motors said. “We are building on the positive consumer response and reservations for our recent EV launches and debuts, including GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevrolet Equinox EV, and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Our plan creates the broadest EV portfolio of any automaker and further solidifies our path toward U.S. EV leadership by mid-decade.”
GM will spend $2.6 billion on a brand new factory in the Lansing area in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution. Additionally, $4 billion will be used to convert the Orion Township factory into the main facility for GM’s various electric pickups, including the recently announced Chevrolet Silverado EV and the GMC Sierra EV, starting in 2024. It will also invest an additional $510 million of the $7 billion budget in two Lansing-area vehicle assembly plants, which will bring the facilities up-to-date, but it will upgrade its current offerings at these sites, which are non-electric.
“Michigan will be the recognized hub and leader of innovation in the U.S. for EV R&D and manufacturing,” GM President Mark Reuss said today.
Most of the EVs that GM plans to produce will be built at the Orion and Factory Zero facilities In Michigan, Reuss said. The Orion plant will produce 360,000 vehicles by 2025 if all goes according to plan. Factory Zero, GM’s site for “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion,” will build 270,000 units by mid-decade. To supplement its 1 million EV production goal, GM will convert additional plants across North America to build EVs.
$2.6 Billion Battery Plant in Lansing
The $2.6 billion battery plant that was announced in a joint venture with LG Energy Solution will land in the Lansing area of the State of Michigan. It will open in late 2024, according to GM, and will be 2.8-million square feet in size. The facility will produce GM’s Ultium EV battery cells, which is the automaker’s main point of emphasis for its expanding fleet of EVs. The Ultium cells will be made in-house, which could contribute to GM’s plan to expand EV manufacturing to monumental levels by 2025. Instead of sourcing the cells from third-party manufacturers, GM is planning to produce them in-house and avoid any potential bottlenecks in the supply chain, which also could cause the automaker to revise its production goals.
GM could control the costs of its batteries by manufacturing them. Batteries are the most expensive part of an EV, and the key to controlling their cost is to fully integrate the entire supply chain into a business model. Everything from mining the raw materials to putting the battery pack into an EV can be done without the help of suppliers. It is difficult to do, but it is how Tesla basically managed to overtake every other manufacturer in the United States and gain recognition as the most-productive automaker in the country, based on production numbers from the Fremont Factory in Northern California. Tesla’s success also involved vertical integration of many of its parts, not just battery packs.
The Ultium cells could be capable of range ratings of 450 miles or greater. They are also manufactured differently, as they are pouch cells instead of cylindrical cells used by other companies.
GM plans to be all-electric by 2035.
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