GM to Build Battery Modules at CAMI Plant in Ontario

General Motors this week announced a new 400,000 square-foot facility at CAMI Assembly in Ingersoll, Ontario to assemble modules for BrightDrop Zevo electric vans as well as additional Ultium EVs built at other GM plants.

The project, to begin in the second quarter of 2024, will support nearly 300 CAMI Assembly jobs.

“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 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.

GM hasn’t said where it will source battery cells from for the modules to be assembled at CAMI, but there are deals in place with Vale and Posco in Becancour, Quebec, to supply the automaker with battery-grade nickel sulfate and cathode active material .

Photo: General Motors

At CAMI, individual battery cells will be assembled into full vehicle packs in four steps:

  • Step 1: Battery cells are arranged into small stacks of cells, where sealer and retaining clips are applied.
  • Step 2: These mini stacks are assembled into full modules, where cooling plates, insulation, and electrical components are installed.
  • Step 3: Modules are then assembled into vehicle packs, where cooling lines and additional electrical components are installed.
  • Step 4: Vehicle battery packs are then subjected to final testing before they are sealed and transferred to the vehicle assembly line.

Another GM plant in Ontario, located in St. Catharines, will soon manufacture new Ultium electric drive units. It’s expected to have an annual capacity of more than 400,000 EV drive units.

GM currently builds EVs in Detroit, Michigan at a facility called “Factory Zero” (GMC Hummer EV as well as the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV), in addition to Spring Hill, Tennessee (Cadillac LYRIQ). The Orion assembly plant, also in Michigan, will stop manufacturing the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV this fall as it turns to electric pickups. Meanwhile, the upcoming Chevrolet Blazer EV and Equinox EV will be made in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

There’s still no plan to build EVs in Canada other than BrightDrop vans. Last month, GM said it will invest $280 million in Oshawa to produce the next-generation internal combustion engine (ICE) Chevrolet Silverado full-size trucks.


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