American auto giant General Motors to invest $800 million to convert one of its existing facilities into Canada’s first large-scale commercial electric vehicle manufacturing plant.
Subject to ratification of a tentative 2021 agreement reached with Unifor and confirmation of government support, GM plans to bring production of its recently announced BrightDrop electric light commercial vehicle, the EV600, to its CAMI manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario (main picture, courtesy 3BL Media).
The nearly $800 million (1 billion Canadian dollar) investment will support GM’s timing to deliver BrightDrop EV600 in late 2021. The investment will enable GM to convert CAMI into Canada’s first large-scale electric delivery vehicles manufacturing plant.
Work will begin immediately to transform the CAMI plant. This will support jobs and transform work at the plant over the next two years from Chevrolet Equinox production to production of EV600s, serving the growing North American electric delivery solutions market.
BrightDrop is an all-new business within GM offering commercial customers an ecosystem of connected and electrified products and services designed to improve the delivery of goods and services from the first to last mile.
It aims to help B2B customers reduce cost of ownership, improve productivity and safety, and improve their carbon footprints and sustainability efforts.
Its initial products include the EP1 electric e-pallet, a software platform for fleet and asset management, and the EV600 light commercial vehicle that will expand the Ultium platform to commercial vehicles.
The new CAMI investments build upon other recent GM investments in Canada, including:
- the recently announced nearly $1.03 billion (CA$1.3 billion) Oshawa Assembly Pickup investments;
- an $86 million (CA$109 million) product and $22 million (CA$28 million) Renewable Energy Cogeneration project at St Catharines;
- a nearly $135 million (CA$170 million) investment in an after-market parts operation in Oshawa;
- expansion of GM’s Canadian Technology Center, including investments in the new 55-acre CTC McLaughlin Advanced Technology Track; and
- GM Canada’s ongoing work in Oshawa to manufacture 10 million face masks for the Government of Canada.
GM Canada is engaged in discussion with the Ontario and federal governments regarding its new investments and looks forward to working closely with Unifor following ratification of the tentative 2021 agreement.
General Motors says it is advancing “an all-electric future”. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles.