General Motors is poised to boost its eco-friendly credentials yet again once the automaker completes its new electric motor plant, which will be the first of its kind for a domestic automaker. The new plant will be an addition to the automaker’s White Marsh, Maryland plant near Baltimore and is scheduled to be completed in 2013. The plant will build components for electric motors that will go into GM’s future plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.
GM broke ground yesterday for the planned addition to the White Marsh plant which currently builds transmissions for Heavy Duty and two-mode hybrid vehicles. GM reports a total investment of $269.5 million for the project.
“We believe the future of sustainable transportation is electrically driven vehicles and this facility will help us maintain a leadership position within this category,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Energy, Environment and Safety Policy. “It’s fitting that green ‘motors of the future’ are being built at a facility well recognized for ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact.”
The new building will also harness energy from the sun by utilizing a rooftop array of solar panels that will be installed and maintained by Constellation Energy. The automaker expects to generate “nine percent of its annual energy consumption and save approximately $330,000” from the solar panel array.
According to GM’s fact sheet, the plant was opened in 2000 and currently employs a total of 206 hourly and salaried workers. Last year the plant produced 56,578 A1000 transmissions for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD 2500 & 3500 trucks as well as the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. In addition, 8,253 hybrid two-mode transmissions were built during the same period.
GM currently builds battery packs for the Volt at its Brownstown Township, Michigan plant which is just south of the Volt’s final assembly plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.