Power Where the EVs Are Built: GM Planned Battery Plant Locations

The puzzle only comes together when all the pieces have been linked to each other.  This lesson we learn early in life with puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty.  GM is solving one of its puzzles by reducing the distance needed to bring its Ultium batteries to the factories that are building the EVs that are part of the four brands of this automaker. 

Building battery plants closer to the assembly plants will reduce the cost of transporting heavy batteries for EV models to where the vehicles are being built. 

GM is moving away from recent embarrassments

Chevrolet Bolt after being destroyed by fire
Chevrolet Bolt Fire | Inside EVs

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You’ve probably heard the news of Chevy Bolt EV models catching fire and might have more recently learned that Toyota topped GM in US sales last year.  These two events are a bit of an embarrassment, but GM is working toward coming out of these situations stronger and better than before.  In a report by Automotive News, a new target has emerged, and GM is aiming directly at it.

GM intends to take over the EV market from Tesla within the next five years.  This is a huge undertaking, with Tesla currently owning 72 percent of the US electric vehicle market, but it’s certainly a goal that GM could be positioned to reach.

GM factories are preparing for the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV

Front of a blue GMC Sierra EV
GMC Sierra EV | GMC

The Orion Assembly plant has been limping along while making only a few hundred Bolt EV models each week. It’s prepared to make up to 360,000 electric trucks per year.  This change comes after a massive overhaul of the assembly plant that has been retooled to be one of the places the new electric trucks will be built.

Factory Zero in Detroit is also being overhauled to give it the capability to build 600,000 electric trucks when the retooling is completed.  These changes make sense with the popularity of pickup trucks in America.

LG Energy Solutions offers the answers to the test

GM Ultium Battery Pack Platform
GM EV Battery Pack | GM Authority

The Ultium Battery Cells used for GM electric vehicles are made in a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions.  This collaboration will cost nearly $2.6 billion, which will allow the pair to build a new plant in Lansing, MI, to be the third one to produce these batteries.  Current plants are under construction in Warren, OH, and Spring Hill, TN.  The locations of these battery plants are strategic to this automaker, positioning them near assembly plants to cut down on transportation costs to bring these batteries where they are needed.

What are the electric vehicle plans for GM?

The only EV we currently see from General Motors is the Bolt. By 2025, this company plans to have 30 new EVs offered around the world.  This company intends to offer only electric vehicles by 2035. This is in accordance with the recent plan set forth by the current Presidential administration.

Trucks will be the cornerstone of EV growth

A white GMC Hummer EV pickup truck model speeding down a country highway
GMC Hummer EV | GMC

We already know the pair of pickup trucks will be offered by two of the GM brands by 2024. This will give us an electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.  What comes after that is part of the plan by GM to increase the number of electric vehicles? We aren’t sure yet.

Positioning battery factories in proximity to assembly plants is only the first step. GM takes this important step as a major piece to solving the electric vehicle puzzle.

Next, learn more about apps that help track car maintenance, or watch the unveiling of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV in the video below:

This article was updated on 8/30/2022.

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