Ontario: GM to convert CAMI into commercial EV plant
General Motors plans to transform its Ingersoll plant in Ontario, Canada into a major electric delivery vehicle factory. The Group earmarked one billion Canadian dollars (just under $800 million) for the conversion.
BrightDrop, GM’s new electric delivery vehicle outlet, will have its new truck made there once they switch over the current Chevrolet Equinox production to the EV600s. The model is set for delivery in late-2021 and GM said they would start transforming the CAMI factory in Ingersoll immediately, pending agreements with Canadian authorities.
The logistics-focussed BrightDrop brand had only been announced three days ago, and GM says they will offer commercial customers “an ecosystem of connected and electrified products and services” that cover the first to last mile. The first model is the EP1 and set to hit the market in just a few weeks. This is not an electric delivery truck like the EV600 but an electric pallet truck.
This latest electrification effort also stands in a longer line. GM CEO Mary Barra in November called for an “all-out pursuit of global EV leadership” with Chevrolet leading the charge. By 2025, the US carmaker wants to have 30 electric models and intends to raise investment from 20 to 27 billion US dollars.
On-going plant conversions have been backing up the strategy. In October, GM announced it would transform the Spring Hill plant in the US state of Tennessee into its third production facility for electric cars. GM workers will build electric cars and internal combustion engines initially in parallel. At the same time, General Motors is turning two of its plants in Michigan into pure electric vehicle sites, namely the Detroit-Hamtramck facility and the plant in Orion Township. In Detroit-Hamtramck, the last internal combustion engine rolled off the assembly line in February 2020. The GMC Hummer EV and later the self-propelled electric car Cruise Origin are to be built at the Hamtramck plant starting this year.
Once GM completes the Ontario factory’s conversion, it will become “Canada’s first large-scale electric delivery vehicles manufacturing plant,” according to the announcement. GM Canada is also talking to the Ontario and federal governments regarding its new investments. They await ratification of “a tentative 2021 agreement” reached with Unifor and confirmation of government support.
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