The Detroit automaker has applied for tax abatements for projects in both Orion Township and outside Lansing, Michigan, said the person, who put the cost at more than $4 billion. GM would build a new battery plant in Lansing and make Orion, which already assembles the Chevrolet Bolt, a site for future electric vehicles.
“GM is developing business cases for potential future investments in Michigan,” spokesman Dan Flores said in an email. “As part of developing a competitive business case, we are having discussions with the appropriate local officials on available incentives.”
The investment would be part of a massive transformation as the company prepares to build and sell 30 electric vehicles by 2025. GM is starting to make the Hummer EV in Detroit and will show off the Chevy Silverado electric pickup at CES in January.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the plans earlier Friday.
Ultium Cells LLC, the joint venture between GM and LG, has started building two of its planned four battery plants with LG in Lordstown, Ohio, and Spring Hill, Tennessee. If GM gets the tax incentives, the company will build the third near its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant, which makes the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse SUV.
The joint venture applied for tax abatements and incentives as part of Michigan’s Renaissance Zone program. The application says Ultium will spend $2.5 billion on the battery plant in Lansing and complete it by the end of 2025. The plant will employ 750 people in 2025 and grow to 1,700 by 2030, with average wages of $1,000 a week, according to documents filed with the Lansing City Council. GM assembly workers at existing plants gross $1,280 a week without overtime.
Shares of GM rose 4.8% at 2:53 p.m. New York time.
The state wants to become a hub for electric-vehicle production, said Robert Trezise, president and chief executive officer of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. If GM gets a Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone, development on the 590-acre site would be largely tax free for 18 years. Employees would still pay income tax, he said.
“The state of Michigan has struggled over the past decade to land any major, transformative kinds of projects because we haven’t had the right incentives in place,” Trezise said in a phone interview. “We noted that GM announced a $2.3 billion plant in Tennessee and Ford announced two in Tennessee and Kentucky. We’re buying the future and there’s no price on that.”
GM’s Flores said that the projects aren’t approved and that “securing all available incentives will be critical for any business case to continue moving forward.”
The Orion plant would make future EVs that use the Ultium batteries. The Bolt produced there now doesn’t use that pack. There would also be a battery pack assembly site at Orion, the person said.