Considering Michigan’s place as a global leader in autos and mobility, it is no surprise that automakers and suppliers are turning to the state as they continue to evolve their capabilities and plants to produce electric vehicles (EVs) and their components. Many companies across the industry are designing new facilities or redeveloping existing locations to make the shift to electrification and incorporate sustainable practices. More than $1 billion is being invested in four facilities dedicated to the production and development of EVs and EV components in Michigan:
Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center $700 million is being invested into Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn to produce the first all-electric F-150 – the best-selling vehicle in the United States – by mid-2022. The facility will also maintain battery assembly and production of the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is slated to be Ford’s most high-tech facility yet with advancements being made to the plant that include collaborative robots, autonomous “sleds” that will move between stations, and more. This expansion solidifies Ford’s commitment to creating new American jobs and investments as outlined in the four-year UAW labor contract and will add around 500 jobs.
GM’s Factory ZERO General Motors announced a $2.2 billion investment in their Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in January to produce battery electric trucks and other electric vehicles. The facility will be dubbed Factory ZERO, positioning it as the “launchpad” of GM’s electrification strategy. Plans include retooling and technical advancements to build EVs. Upon completion, 2,200 manufacturing jobs will be available.
“Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”
Magna Electric Vehicle Structures Facility – Canada-based Magna International, Inc. has begun building a new, high-tech facility spanning 345,000-square-feet, with the ability to expand to 1,000,000-square-feet, in St. Clair. Magna Electric Vehicle Structures-Michigan, Inc. is a new entity of Magna International aimed to operate the facility that will produce complex structural battery enclosures for electric propulsion vehicles. Magna has invested $70.1 million in the project and expects 300+ jobs to be created with the development of the plant. The global automotive supplier – known for producing seats, powertrain, and everything in between – plans to manufacture battery enclosures for the 2022 General Motors Hummer EV in the new plant. This will be the company’s 25th facility in Michigan upon its expected completion, which is expected in early 2022.
XL Fleet’s Wixom Facility – Boston-based leader in commercial and municipal fleet electrification solutions, XL Fleet, has recently opened a 24,655-square-foot fleet technology center in Wixom. The tech center supports the design, R&D, testing, and production of commercial vehicle electrification solutions. The company is anticipating its engineering employment to grow 50% in 2021, the majority of which will be at the Wixom location.
“The transportation industry is rapidly transitioning towards electrification and a greener, more sustainable future. As the global leader in electrifying commercial fleets, XL Fleet’s technology plays a crucial role in this evolution,” said Maureen Krauss, President & CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership (DRP). “The DRP is incredibly excited to welcome XL Fleet to the Detroit region, and we are proud to support the establishment of their new Wixom Tech Center. Their presence here is an important endorsement of the Detroit Region’s unrivaled mobility ecosystem and leadership in the development of electric vehicles.”
It is expected that the automotive industry will continue this shift towards EVs, and infrastructure investments in Michigan will likely follow. With more than 100,000 engineers and 1.2 million skilled trades workers across the state, Michigan is more than capable of staffing these new locations and advancing the industry further into the future.