General Motors is putting $760 million in its Toledo Propulsion Systems factory, which assembles transmissions for gas-powered vehicles, so it can make electric drive units for electric vehicles, as well.
The drive units will be used in GM electric trucks, the automaker said, including the GMC Hummer EV, which is right now underway, and the forthcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. It will be GM’s first US engine or transmission factory adapted for electric vehicle-related production.
Electric drive units incorporate an electric motor, one-speed transmission and power electronics that carry power to and from the motor. (Dissimilar to gas cars, electric vehicles don’t need a transmission with more than one speed.) GM wouldn’t agree that whether the actual motors will be worked at the Toledo, Ohio, manufacturing plant or elsewhere.
For the now, at least, the plant will keep building transmissions for front-and-back wheel-drive gas-powered vehicles alongside the electric drive units, GM representative Dan Flores said.
“This investment helps build job security for our Toledo team for years to come and is the next step on our journey to an all-electric future,” Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, said in a statement.
GM has said it intends to produce only zero-emissions light duty trucks and traveler vehicles by 2035. The Detroit-based automaker as of now fabricates the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV and Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. A few additional electric models, including the Chevrolet Equinox EV, are planned over the next few years.
The Toledo Propulsion Systems plant presently employs around 1,500 individuals. The organization didn’t say assuming it intends to hire more.
GM has already invested in some final assembly plants – production lines where full vehicles are assembled – to set them up for building electric vehicles. For example, GM put $2.2 billion into its Detroit-Hamtramck factory, transforming it into “Factory Zero” where Hummer EVs are currently fabricated. GM likewise put $2 billion into its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant that presently constructs the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV alongside gasoline-powered models.