Michigan Approves GM EV Investments, $824M Investment Will Create 4,000 Jobs
The news came from Michigan's economic development board who approved GM's proposal to invest in putting battery cell and electric vehicle factories in the state during a meeting Tuesday morning. The investment would see GM put capital into shoring up operations in its home state and would also cool tensions between the industry and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who issued blunt commentary late last year after the state missed out on three Ford EV plants.
Investments Will Bring Major Upgrades To Two Plants
Unlike the investments from Ford that Michigan missed out on, there are aspects of GM's proposal that are somewhat different. A major distinction is that GM will not be using all of the investment to build facilities from the ground up, and will instead use some of the funds to update two existing facilities to help bring them into GM's growing EV sphere.
The first plant will be the Orion Assembly plant which will see new life as a location for EV truck production. As mentioned in prior coverage, Orion is one of the most flexible plants in GM's arsenal and has seen a wide range of vehicle production during its 50-year life span. However, the normally busy plant has been idled by the ongoing Bolt recall and has remained shut down since late last year.
The investment will see GM spend $4 billion on renovations that will help expand the plant while also giving it new tooling and expansions to help it fulfill its role as a supplier of EV trucks. The investment also paints a grey future for the Chevrolet Bolt since its tooling will most likely be removed and replaced with crucial equipment needed for truck production.
Another slice of the investment will go towards building a third battery cell in Lansing which will share real estate with the Delta Township Assembly plant. GM will spend between $1.5 to $2.5 billion on that particular project with the facility being part of the new 'Ultium Cells" partnership that the auto giant created with LG Energy Solutions.
Creating More Jobs Than First Predicted
Michigan was a state that was hit hard by COVID-19 related layoffs and the amount of jobs that the investment would create in the state was a key thing to keep an eye on. Originally, we thought that the move would help create or retain around 2,000 jobs, but the finalized proposal revealed that the combined moves would help bring 2,000 more new jobs into the state's workforce with the revised total sitting at 4,000 new positions.
“The shift to electrification is truly revolutionary, and investment decisions being made now will have positive or detrimental impacts on regions for decades to come. The importance of securing this investment to both the local and broader state economy cannot be overstated," state economic development officials wrote in a memo requesting the incentives. They are separate from locally approved incentives, including a special power rate for the battery plant and tax abatements.
The $824 million dollar investment will also allow GM to make good on its promise of selling only EV-powered vehicles by 2035. While the company is still some ways away from pulling off this feat, investments like this one will undoubtedly play a role in helping the company reach this milestone.
Photo Credit: General Motors
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. In addition to his specialization with Ford, he grew up in a General Motors household and is extensively familiar with their products too. Contact Carl on Twitter at @CarlMalek3, on Instagram and Facebook for automotive news to send news tips.