Reports that General Motors had chosen a location in Michigan south of Detroit to assemble battery packs for its electric vehicles were confirmed today, as the automaker announced it will invest $43 million in a Brownstown Township facility.
According to GM, the 160,000-square-foot plant will create more than 100 jobs in the advanced technology field and will be a part of a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM called GM Subsystem Manufacturing. GM is currently outfitting the Brownstown Township location with the equipment it will need to assemble the batteries for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt late next year.
“Advanced battery development is a critical component that will strengthen the long-term competitiveness and technology leadership of the United States,” said GM CEO Fritz Henderson. “At our Brownstown Township facility, GM will help deliver domestically produced and affordable energy sources for American consumers while creating U.S.-based manufacturing jobs.”
The plant will house three assembly areas: the battery module pre-assembly area, where battery cells are processed and installed into one of three battery modules, the module final assembly area, where final assembly and testing of the three modules takes place, and the main line, where hoses, straps and electrical connections are attached and final testing and packing for shipment occurs.
The GM Brownstown Battery Assembly plant will work closely with GM’s new Global Battery Systems Lab, a new facility at GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan.
Brownstown Township approved a 50 percent tax break on new machinery and equipment at the plant for up to 12 years, the state of Michigan approved $167 million in tax breaks for GM to build the plant, and the Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved additional state tax credits totaling about $6.8 million for the plant. GM also received $105.9 million in battery grants from the government’s economic stimulus package, and can apply for additional loans from the Department of Energy’s $25 billion factory retooling program.
Source: GM, The Detroit News