GM is investing $760 million in the Toledo factory to make drive units for electric cars

The drive units will be used in GM electric trucks, the automaker said, including the GMC Hummer EV currently in production and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. It will be GM’s first U.S. engine or transmission plant geared toward production related to electric vehicles.

Electric drive units include the electric motor, single-speed transmission and power electronics that bring power to the engine and the engine. (Unlike gas cars, electric vehicles don’t need more than one speed transmission.) GM wouldn’t say whether those engines will be built at the Toledo, Ohio, plant or elsewhere.

For now, at least, the plant will continue to build transmissions for front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles along with gas-electric units, GM spokesman Dan Flores said.

“This investment helps create job security for our Toledo team for years to come and is the next step in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of GM Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, in a statement.

GM has said it plans to produce only zero-emission light trucks and passenger vehicles by 2035. The Detroit-based automaker currently manufactures the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV, and Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles. Several other electric models are planned for the coming years, including the Chevrolet Equinox EV.

The Propulsion Systems plant in Toledo currently employs around 1,500 people. The company has not said whether it plans to hire more.

GM has already invested in some final assembly plants — factories where entire vehicles are built — in preparation for building electric vehicles. For example, GM invested $2.2 billion in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, making it “Factory Zero” where Hummer EVs are built. GM invested $2 billion in its Spring Hill, Tenn., plant that currently builds the electric Cadillac Lyriq SUV along with gasoline-powered models.
GM has said it will invest $35 trillion in electric vehicles by 2025.