Aerial view of GM CAMI Assembly Plant under construction
General Motors has announced it will begin manufacturing battery modules for electric vehicles at its CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., starting in the second quarter of 2024. Photo: General Motors

The 400,000-square-foot facility, next to the CAMI assembly plant, will start making battery modules for GM’s BrightDrop Zevo vans and other Ultium-powered EVs in 2024

General Motors has announced it will begin manufacturing battery modules for electric vehicles at its CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., starting in the second quarter of next year.

This decision follows an April report by Electric Autonomy, which exclusively confirmed from an industry source that GM was constructing a new battery pack assembly facility at the CAMI auto plant.

In its official announcement, GM says the planned 400,000-square-foot facility will be dedicated to assembling modules for BrightDrop Zevo vans as well as modules for additional Ultium EVs manufactured at other GM plants.

This move to building battery modules is aimed at significantly increasing GM’s EV production capacity. It will also help to bring in 300 new job opportunities at the plant.

“Our CAMI plant is playing a critical role in accelerating GM’s all-electric future,” said Marissa West, president and managing director, GM Canada, in a press statement.

“In addition to being Canada’s first large-scale EV manufacturing plant, soon the team will add EV battery module assembly to the site, demonstrating innovation, flexibility, and opportunity during this historic time of transformation in the industry.”

Building full vehicle packs 

The process of building full vehicle packs from individual battery cells will be carried out at the plant in four key stages, explains GM in the release:

  • In the initial stage, individual battery cells will be arranged into small stacks and secured together with sealer and retaining clips.
  • Subsequently, the stacks will be assembled into modules, incorporating cooling plates, insulation, and electrical components.
  • In the third step, these modules will be integrated to create complete vehicle packs, installed with additional electrical components and cooling lines.
  • Finally, the packs will undergo rigorous testing before being sealed and sent to assembly lines, where they will be used either on-site for BrightDrop vans or in other EV plants.

More news: Chevy Bolt revival

Earlier this week, GM also backtracked on a previous announcement that it was ending the production of the Chevrolet Bolt later this year. Instead, the automaker revealed its plans to introduce a new, next-generation version of the Bolt.

No specific details or timing were disclosed. However, GM did confirm that the vehicle will be built on its Ultium platform, which is expected to provide enhanced range and charging capabilities for the upcoming model.

The decision to bring back the Bolt appears to be driven by the vehicle’s popularity among customers — despite the fact that GM had to recall every Bolt made between 2017 and 2022 to address risks of a battery fire.

GM chair and CEO Mary Barra highlighted the car’s popularity during the company’s quarterly earnings conference, stating, “Our customers love today’s Bolt. It has been delivering record sales and achieving some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry.”

Initially launched in 2017, the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV experienced their strongest sales to date in the first half of 2023, according to GM.

“We will keep the momentum going by delivering a new Bolt…and we will execute it more quickly compared to an all-new program with significantly lower engineering expense and capital investment by updating the vehicle with Ultium and Ultifi technologies.”

The upcoming Bolt will join Chevrolet’s growing lineup of all-electric vehicles. The automaker is already gearing up to launch three electric models this year — the Silverado EV, Blazer EV and Equinox EV.