Jan 26, 2022 - Energy & Environment

GM's aggressive electric vehicle plans come into focus

Illustration of a blurry pattern of batteries coming into focus.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

General Motors is filling in the blanks on its multibillion-dollar plans to bolster electric vehicle and battery production amid growing competition in the sector.

Driving the news: The company on Wednesday detailed $7 billion worth of investments in Michigan that it said would create 4,000 new jobs.

They include:

  • Conversion of a plant in Orion Township to produce the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra, making it the second facility slated to build those models.
  • Plans to build a third battery manufacturing site with Korea-based LG Energy, its joint venture partner in the Ultium Cells brand that will be GM's in-house supplier for its expanding EV lineup.

Our thought bubble: Here are a few takeaways from the rollout...

Clarity on production targets

  • GM offered two previously undisclosed goals. One is reaching the capacity to build 600,000 electric trucks annually from the plants. The other is more broadly having the capacity to build 1 million EVs annually in North America by 2025.

Trucks, trucks, trucks!

  • The announcement is another sign that domestic automakers are making pickup trucks — which are massively popular in the U.S. — a key part of their wider EV strategies.

The White House wants credit

  • President Biden touted his work with automakers and policies — such as charging money in the bipartisan infrastructure law — to spur EV manufacturing after GM's announcement.

State competition is hot

  • Michigan officials are providing $824 million in public incentives for the projects. "The announcement is a critical win for Michigan, which lost out on Ford Motor Co.’s $11 billion investment in three battery plants and a new vehicle assembly plant that went to Kentucky and Tennessee," AP reports.

The big picture: GM plans to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous technologies in the 2020-2025 period and roll out over two-dozen electric models.

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