The drive units will be used in GM electric trucks, the automaker said, including the GMC Hummer EV, which is currently in production, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. It will be GM’s first US engine or transmission factory adapted for electric vehicle-related production.
Electric drive units include an electric motor, one-speed transmission and power electronics that bring power to and from the motor. (Unlike gas cars, electric vehicles don’t require a transmission with more than one speed.) GM would not say whether the motors themselves will be built at the Toledo, Ohio, factory or somewhere else.
For now, at least, the factory will continue building transmissions for front- and rear-wheel-drive gas-powered vehicles along with the electric drive units, GM spokesman Dan Flores said.
“This investment helps build job security for our Toledo team for years to come and is the next step on our journey to an all-electric future,” Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, said in a statement.
The Toledo Propulsion Systems plant currently employs about 1,500 people. The company did not say if it plans to hire more.