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Published in Economic Development
General Motors CEO and Chairperson Mary Barra at an announcement in Lansing on Jan. 25. General Motors CEO and Chairperson Mary Barra at an announcement in Lansing on Jan. 25. COURTESY OF GENERAL MOTORS

GM announces $7B electric vehicle initiative in Michigan with backing of state incentives

BY Tuesday, January 25, 2022 01:31pm

LANSING — General Motors, alongside top statewide elected leaders in Lansing, today announced separate multi-billion-dollar investments in Michigan that officials say will help to make the state a global leader in electric vehicle manufacturing.

Following a Michigan Strategic Fund board meeting this morning that included the approval of more than $824 million in grants and incentives, GM formally announced upwards of $7 billion in new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing projects in the Lansing area and Orion Township in Oakland County. 

The MSF approval included more than $666 million in performance-based grants that are part of a new $1 billion incentive program approved by lawmakers late last year. 

The bipartisanship continued at today’s announcement in Lansing as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Republican leaders of the state House and Senate to applaud GM’s plan.

“This represents the magnitude of what we can achieve when Michigan’s future is our top priority. The economic well being of our state isn’t a partisan matter. High quality jobs don’t have a party affiliation,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, adding that the announcement is the “first fruit” of the new economic development programs.

The incentives include a $600 million Critical Industry Program grant that was created under a law signed by Whitmer late last year that uses federal pandemic relief funds for incentives to target major manufacturing investments. The MSF Board also approved a renewable energy renaissance zone designation worth about $158 million.

GM plans to invest $4 billion to convert its Orion Township assembly plant to build full-size electric pickup trucks and up to $2.5 billion for a battery cell plant in Lansing by Ultium Cells LLC, a joint partnership between GM and LG Energy Solution. The projects could create up to 4,000 jobs and are expected to be fully operational in 2024.

“We intend to bring our employees along with us on this transformation to an all-electric future,” GM CEO and Chairperson Mary Barra said today. “This will help us make our home state the epicenter of the electric vehicle industry.”

Barra added that GM will have an electric truck production capacity of about 600,000 vehicles per year when the plants are fully online.

The investments are part of GM’s broader plan to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025. GM expects to have an electric vehicle production capacity of more than 1 million units by that time.

“We’ve said we aim to be a market leader in electric vehicles by mid-decade,” Barra said.

Today’s announcement came nearly four months after Ford Motor Co. and partner SK Innovation Co. announced an $11.4 billion joint venture to build electric vehicles and batteries in Tennessee and Kentucky. 

That announcement spurred lawmakers into action on an incentive package late last year, which was critical in luring GM to invest in Michigan, officials said today.

“We proved the doubters and the cynics wrong,” Whitmer said in reference to the blow back Michigan received by losing out to Ford. “We showed everyone we can compete for transformational projects. In the decades to come, we’ll electrify the world.”

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