GM prepares for electric van production in Canada
General Motors will start producing electric vans at its plant in Ingersoll, Canada, later this year. Construction of the BrightDrop electric van is scheduled to begin there at the end of December. Light pickup production and a third shift will be introduced at the Oshawa assembly plant.
The Ingersoll plant in the province of Ontario is GM’s first Canadian electric vehicle plant. At the beginning of last year, the manufacturer announced its intention to transform the plant into a large production facility for electric delivery vehicles. The company has earmarked an investment of around 800 million US dollars for this. In Canada, GM is investing a total of two billion dollars to transform the production facilities in Ingersoll and Oshawa.
Meanwhile, BrightDrop has renamed its EV600 and EV410 electric vans: They are now called the Zevo 600 and Zevo 400, which are designed specifically for urban delivery and are said to be capable of a range of up to 250 miles. The Zevo 400 was developed for the electrification of smaller and more frequent deliveries.
With the changes for the Oshawa plant, GM is creating the company’s only plant that produces both heavy-duty and light-duty pickups. In this way, the manufacturer aims to create flexibility and responsiveness in the North American market.
With the introduction of a third shift, GM has created more than 2,600 new jobs since the plant reopened, the company says. Half of the newly hired production workers are women, it said. GM wants to create more diversity in the workplace. In this context, the manufacturer therefore also announced its intention to join the Canada Diversity Challenge and, in view of the climate targets, the Canada Net Zero Challenge.
“Working with our government partners we have reopened GM’s Oshawa plant, creating thousands of new jobs and recruiting a record number of women in production roles,” explains Marissa West, President and CEO of GM Canada. Partnering with the Ontario and Canadian governments, she says, is helping GM “a more diverse, innovative and sustainable industry and EV supply chain for the future.”
In the US, GM has resumed production of the battery-electric Chevrolet Bolt and its offshoot Bolt EUV as planned. Production of the electric cars had been paused there for months following a recall due to battery problems.