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GM to spend $7b in Michigan to build electric auto capacity

By AFP - Jan 26,2022 - Last updated at Jan 26,2022

A General Motors Hummer EV chassis sits in front of an Hummer EV outside of an event where General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that GM is making a $7 billion investment, the largest in the companys history, in electric vehicle and battery production in Michigan on Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan (AFP photo)

NEW YORK — General Motors announced on Tuesday plans to invest $7 billion in the US state of Michigan as it converts assembly plants and builds batteries for the transition to electric vehicles (EV).

Calling the announcement "the largest single investment in GM history," the auto giant said the push in its Midwestern home state would create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 more positions.

GM has previously projected that it will double revenues by 2030 as it ramps up EV production. The company expects 50 per cent of its North American capacity to be EVs by that date.

"Today we are taking the next step in our continuous work to establish GM's EV leadership by making investments in our vertically integrated battery production in the US, and our North American EV production capacity," said Chief Executive Mary Barra. 

"These investments also create opportunities in Michigan for us to bring our employees along on our transition to an all-electric future."

The biggest component is $4 billion to remake the Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit to enable production of new EVs such as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. 

GM is also spending $2.6 billion to build a new battery plant in the city of Lansing, with the rest going to enhance to assembly plants in the area.

The announcement was applauded by President Joe Biden, who said his administration "has been laser focused on making sure that America leads the manufacturing future of electric vehicles."

Biden, who toured GM's Detroit-area EV plant in November, hailed the $7.5 billion for new EV charging stations included in a $1 trillion infrastructure bill he signed into law last year.

But another Biden initiative to establish higher tax credits for EVs built in union shops like those at GM looks uncertain given congressional gridlock over his Build Back Better social spending and climate change package.

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