Prime Minister Trudeau with a BrightDrop Zevo 600 built at CAMI Assembly, Canada’s first full-scale EV manufacturing plant, in Ingersoll, Ont. PHOTO by Ryan Bolton and Brody White.
General Motors has reopened its Ingersoll, Ont., plant as Canada’s first full-scale electric-vehicle manufacturing facility.
GM has completely retooled its CAMI Assembly plant to become the new global manufacturing home for BrightDrop full electric delivery vans. BrightDrop is a GM subsidiary focused on building vehicles for commercial customers. BrightDrop also announced the commencement of commercial operations in Canada, with DHL slated to be the company’s first Canadian customer. GM used to manufacture BrightDrop vans on a limited basis in a facility in Michigan.
With the first BrightDrop Zevo 600 model rolling off the assembly line in Ingersoll, GM says it’s setting a milestone in electric vehicle production.
“This milestone represents GM at our best — fast, flexible and first in the industry,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The BrightDrop Zevo is a prime example of GM’s flexible Ultium EV architecture, which is allowing us to quickly launch a full range of electric vehicles for our customers. And, as of today, I am proud to call the CAMI EV Assembly team the first full-scale all-electric manufacturing team in Canada.”
GM began retooling CAMI for electric vehicle production on May 1, 2022. In just seven months, the team installed entirely new production equipment covering 2 million square feet.
“Electric-vehicle manufacturing in Canada is no longer something that’s happening in the future. It’s here and it’s now. “We really believe that we’re at an inflection point where EVs are becoming much more mainstream,”
The retooling received significant help from both the federal and provincial government == $259 million from each – and, as would be expected, the grand opening of GM’s transformed Ingersoll manufacturing plant included political dignitaries from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Philippe Champagne, to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli.
GM EV FAST FACTS
GM says it’s “quickly accelerating toward an all-electric future”, with the following plans in motion:
- By 2035, GM aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty vehicles.
- The GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ are rolling off GM assembly lines in Michigan and Tennessee, respectively, while the GMC Sierra EV and Cadillac CELESTIQ were recently revealed. Chevrolet has revealed the Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV, which will soon join the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV at Chevrolet dealerships.
- These new EVs will be based on the Ultium Platform which encompasses a common electric vehicle architecture and propulsion components like battery cells, modules, packs, Ultium Drive units, EV motors and integrated power electronics that can be tailored to the needs of different vehicles, from supertrucks to luxury SUVs to crossovers.
- GM has binding agreements securing all battery raw material to support its goal of 1 million units of annual EV production capacity in North America by the end of 2025.
- Production of Ultium EV battery packs is now underway at the first Ultium Cells LLC manufacturing facility in Ohio, with two more sites under construction in Tennessee and Michigan.