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General Motors to build third EV battery factory in the US

General Motors announced a $7 billion investment in expanding its electric vehicle production capacity in Michigan, calling it “the largest investment announcement in GM history.”

The company will spend the money on four manufacturing sites, with plans to create 4,000 new jobs and keep another 1,000 in the state. The investment includes the construction of a new battery cell plant in Lansing and the conversion of GM’s Orion assembly plant to produce the Chevy Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra. The latter will be GM’s second assembly plant planned to build full-size electric pickup trucks, the first being the company’s Factory Zero in Detroit.

GM has said it will spend $35 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025, a staggering amount for a company until recently known for its large, gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. It’s also a sign of GM’s continued confidence in EV market growth, despite accounting for just 3 percent of US sales last year.

GM has set a goal to be a carbon neutral company by 2040, which would mean ceasing sales of light diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2035. Having enough batteries is therefore a fundamental concern for GM’s future.

Currently, the company’s electric lineup is small, consisting of just three vehicles: the Chevy Bolt, the Chevy Bolt EUV and the Hummer EV truck. GM has announced several upcoming EVs, including the electric Hummer SUV, Chevy Silverado EV, Chevy Equinox EV, Chevy Blazer EV, GMC Sierra EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Cadillac Celestiq and the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle.

GM will need a lot of batteries to fill all these EVs, so it is expanding its manufacturing footprint with its partner, LG Chem of South Korea. GM and LG have already announced plans to build two battery plants in the US – one in Ohio and the other in Tennessee.

The factory conversion in Orion and the third battery facility in Lansing will enable GM to increase its “total full-scale electric truck production capacity to 600,000 trucks when both Factory ZERO and Orion facilities are fully ramped up,” the company said. In addition, the company is investing in its two car assembly plants in Lansing for short-term product improvements.

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