Scrap recyclers who serve the automotive industry in the Great Lakes region likely were encouraged to hear that Detroit-based General Motors (GM) plans to assemble two new electric vehicle (EV) models at its “Factory Zero” facility located on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan.
At an April 6 press event, GM President Mark Reuss announced Chevrolet will introduce a Silverado electric pickup truck that will be built at the Factory Zero plant. He also confirmed a recently revealed GMC Hummer EV sport utility vehicle (SUV) will be built at Factory Zero.
“The vehicles coming from Factory Zero will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles,” says Reuss. “The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true ‘super trucks,’ and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy’s loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike.”
Although EVs lack the metals-intensive internal combustion engine (ICE) and exhaust system components found in ICE vehicles, metals producers and recyclers in the Great Lakes region can at least benefit from the body panel and suspension components production necessary to produce EVs.
American EV pioneer Tesla has the majority of its presence in California, Nevada and Texas. In the U.S., the company currently assembles all its vehicles in Fremont, California.
Among the other American startups in the EV space, some have selected the Midwest for their production base, although some of these efforts are still essentially in a pilot phase. Ohio-based EV truck producer Lordstown Motors has invested in a former Ford plant in that Ohio town. The company has run into scrutiny from a short seller questioning the status of “preorders” touted by the EV maker.
Another EV ray of hope for metals producers and recyclers in the Midwest is Michigan-based Rivian Automotive Inc. That EV truck, van and SUV producer says it intends to hire more than 1,700 people at its assembly plant in Normal, Illinois (a former Mitsubishi facility).
Beyond GM, established automakers expanding their EV production in North America include Ford Motor Co., which is building a plant in Dearborn, Michigan, to assemble EV F-150 trucks, and has announced it will build EV Transit vans in Kansas City, Missouri.
Japan-based Honda, which has considerable manufacturing capacity in Ohio, is reportedly partnering with GM on its earliest EVs for the North American market. According to a January report from Car & Driver, GM will assemble a Honda EV crossover vehicle in Mexico and an EV Acura crossover in Tennessee.