GM Invests $760 Million in Toledo Plant to Make Electric Car Drive Units


General Motors is investing $760 million in its Toledo Propulsion Systems plant, which builds transmissions for gas-powered vehicles so it can also make electric drive units for electric vehicles.

The power units will be used in GM’s electric trucks, the automaker said, including the GMC Hummer EV, which is currently in production, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. It will be GM’s first engine or transmission plant in the US adapted for electric vehicle production.

Electric drive units include an electric motor, single-speed transmission, and power electronics that carry power to and from the engine. (Unlike gas-powered cars, electric vehicles don’t require a transmission with more than one speed.) GM doesn’t say whether the engines will be built at the Toledo, Ohio plant, or elsewhere.

In any case, for now, the plant will continue to build transmissions for gas-powered front and rear-wheel drive vehicles, along with the electric drive units, GM spokesman Dan Flores said.

“This investment helps us create job security for our Toledo team for years to come and is the next step on our journey toward an all-electric future,” Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, said in a statement.

GM has said it plans to produce only zero-emission light trucks and passenger cars by 2035. The Detroit-based automaker currently produces the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV and Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. Several more electric models are planned for the next few years, including the Chevrolet Equinox EV.

The Toledo Propulsion Systems factory currently employs approximately 1,500 people. The company has not said whether it plans to hire more people.

GM has already invested in some final assembly plants — plants where complete vehicles are built — to prepare them for electric vehicle construction. For example, GM invested $2.2 billion in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, making it “Factory Zero,” where Hummer EVs are now built. GM also invested $2 billion in its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant, which now builds the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV, along with gasoline-powered models.

GM has said it will invest $35 billion in electric vehicles by 2025.

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