Bulk of the announced investment in Michigan will be used for enabling the construction of a new $2.6bn Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and the $4bn conversion of the company’s assembly facility in Orion Township


General Motors to build a new $2.6bn Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing. (Credit: Notorious4life/Wikipedia.org)

General Motors (GM) will invest over $7bn in four manufacturing sites in Michigan, US with an aim to considerably ramp up its battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity.

Said to be the largest single largest investment to be made by GM so far, the announcement is expected to generate 4,000 new roles, while retaining 1,000 jobs.

It will enable the construction of a new $2.6bn Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and the $4bn conversion of the company’s assembly plant in Orion Township.

Additionally, the American automobile company is investing over $510m in its two vehicle assembly plants in Lansing for near-term product enhancements.

The investments are the latest measures taken by General Motors for expediting its plans to become a major player in the electric vehicles (EVs) segment in North America by 2025. The company aims to have over a million units of EV capacity in North America in the next three years.

General Motors chair and CEO Mary Barra said: “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.

“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.”

The new facility in Lansing will be the third battery cell manufacturing plant in the US for Ultium Cells, which is a joint venture of General Motors with LG Energy Solution.

According to LG Energy Solution, site preparation on the nearly 2.8 million square foot facility will commence this summer.

The battery cell manufacturing plant, which is slated to open in late 2024, will supply battery cells to the Orion assembly plant and other EV assembly plants of General Motors.

Ultium Cells estimates the Lansing facility to have 50GWh of battery cell capacity when operating at full production.

At Orion, General Motors will convert the existing facility to enable the production of electric trucks using the Ultium Platform developed by the company. The platform is said to provide flexibility to the automobile manufacturer to build vehicles for all customers and segments.

The company expects to begin production of electric trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV and electric GMC Sierra at the facility from 2024.

Last June, General Motors said that it has allocated an investment of $35bn for the 2020-2025 period in EVs and automated vehicles.