Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
Governor Whitmer has secured a $7 billion deal with General Motors that will make Michigan the seat of their electric vehicle (EV) production. GM will be investing $4 billion to upgrade their Orion Township assembly plant, which will switch to producing full-size electric pickups. Another $2.5 billion from the deal will go to the creation of an Ultium high-volume battery factory in Delta Township, which will be one of only three such factories in the country. There will be an additional $500 million split between two more Lansing area facilities to prepare them for near term products.
Critics say that Michigan is giving up too much for the investment. The state has offered $1 billion in tax incentives to encourage GM to build here. However, Governor Whitmer is confident that Michiganders will benefit from the deal, which will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 more. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) anticipates an additional 12,000 indirect jobs created in the supply chain for EV production.
There is plenty of money for Michigan if it can place itself as the center of EV production in the United States. In June of last year, GM announced that it planned to invest $35 billion into electric and self-driving cars by 2025. The new Ultium battery plant may serve as an anchor for future investments, with the only other Ultium factories being in Ohio and Tennessee.