General Motors said it will invest roughly $6.6 billion in its home state of Michigan through 2024 to increase electric pickup-truck production and build a new EV battery cell plant.
“We will have the products, the battery cell capacity, and the vehicle-assembly capacity to be the EV leader by mid-decade,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
The investments announced Tuesday include $2.6 billion for a new battery plant through a joint venture with LG Energy Solution in Lansing, Mich., and $4 billion to convert its Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit to produce electric trucks such as upcoming versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, beginning in 2024.
GM on Tuesday also announced an additional $510 million in investments in two Lansing-area vehicle-assembly plants to upgrade for non-electric vehicles.
“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 during a media briefing.
Orion Assembly and GM’s Factory Zero plant in Detroit are expected to build a majority of the 1 million units of electric vehicles in North America, according to Reuss. Orion is expected to be able to produce 360,000 vehicles annually by mid-decade, while Factory Zero is targeting 270,000 units.
GM projects it will convert 50% of its North American assembly capacity to EV production by 2030 – five years ahead of a plan to exclusively offer light-duty electric vehicles by 2035.
GM is using the name Ultium for its next-generation batteries and electric vehicle platform and technologies. It estimates the proprietary cells will be capable of a range of up to 450 miles or more on a full charge with 0-60 mph acceleration in three seconds. The cells are innovatively contained in pouches as opposed to most used today that are in cylinders.
Separately, President Joe Biden used GM’s investment announcement on Tuesday to tout his administration’s economic strategy in “helping power a historic American manufacturing comeback.”
“From day one, my administration has been laser-focused on making sure that America leads the manufacturing future of electric vehicles,” Biden said in a statement. “This announcement is just the latest in over $100 billion of investment this past year in American auto manufacturing to build electric vehicles and batteries.”
GM aims to surpass Tesla’s progress in the recent past years and claim its space in the electrical vehicle industry.