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GM announces $7 billion EV Battery Investment in Michigan

On Jan. 25, General Motors announced a major electric-vehicle investment in Michigan, with plans to spend $7 billion and create up to 4,000 new jobs at two plants.

Earlier in the day, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved GM’s requests for a Critical Industry Program grant and Strategic Site Readiness Program grant to incentivize the two projects.

The package includes $666.1 million in grants from a $1 billion economic development fund the Legislature recently created. The projects are set to take place in Lake Orion and Delta Township and could bring in anywhere from 3,200 to 4,000 jobs.

“General Motors battery plant investments are a big win for the state and reflect Michigan’s global leadership in automotive innovation and workforce talent,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director MICHauto and vice president of automotive & mobility initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Today’s announcement is also the result of bipartisan cooperation on economic development that MICHauto, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and partners across the state advocated for. Michigan is uniquely positioned to lead the electrification of the mobility industry and thrive in the knowledge-based economy.”

An 18-year Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone, which requires a minimum investment of $1.5 billion, was also approved by the board this morning for the Delta Township project. The renaissance zone exempts the company from certain city-levied taxes.

GM plans to expand its Orion Township facility to support the production of electric vehicles and is anticipated to have a capital investment of up to $4 billion. Ultimum Cells LLC, working with GM, will build a new volume battery cell manufacturing facility in Delta Township and is expected to bring in anywhere from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion.

MICHauto and Chamber Economic Development Advocacy

GM’s announcement comes after last year’s historic bipartisan set of bills to support economic development in Michigan. The Chamber and MICHauto were instrumental in the passage of these bills and were standing side by side with Gov. Whitmer, Speaker Jason Wentworth, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey when they were signed.

“Big bipartisan wins for Michigan are increasingly rare, especially ones that have a transformative impact on our economy. Michigan created and owned the automotive industry since its inception, but leadership today does not ensure leadership into the future — especially in light of other states gunning for our assets,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber. “The Chamber and MICHauto, along with partners across the state, are proud to have worked with the Legislature and Governor’s office to pass the biggest bipartisan deal in Michigan since the 2019 bill signing at the Mackinac Policy Conference, which will allow our state to compete and win the jobs of the future.”

What this means for Michigan

Tuesday’s announcement gives GM three U.S. battery cell manufacturing sites, with a fourth one coming. It also provides more EV production capacity at a plant already building the electric Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV: Orion Assembly, which like Factory Zero at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center will build the electric Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra, giving GM capacity to build 600,000 electric pickup trucks when both plants are fully running.

“We’ll have over a million units of battery electric vehicle capacity in the United States by 2025, and that 600,000 is a major part of that,” GM President Mark Reuss said on a call with media Tuesday. “As we see the transition happening, we know the adoption rate has really increased over the last year or two. We’ve done that research and we see the acceptance of the newly introduced Silverado as very, very positive, and high as well.”

The Michigan investment is expected to create more than 1,700 new Ultium Cells jobs when the plant is fully operational. Work on the project will start this summer and battery cell production is scheduled to begin in late 2024. The plant will supply cells to the products made at Orion Assembly and other plants.