General Motors opened its first Canadian electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ont., Dec. 5, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford in attendance.
The plant will churn out GM’s BrightDrop electric commercial delivery van, having been completely retooled for EV production. The company also announced DHL will be the first Canadian customer of the electric vehicle.
The very first BrightDrop Zevo 600 rolled off the line Dec. 5.
“This milestone represents GM at our best — fast, flexible and first in the industry,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The BrightDrop Zevo is a prime example of GM’s flexible Ultium EV architecture, which is allowing us to quickly launch a full range of electric vehicles for our customers. And, as of today, I am proud to call the CAMI EV Assembly team the first full-scale all-electric manufacturing team in Canada.”
Retooling of the plant began in May 2022, with the entire 7-million-sq.-ft. facility retooled in just seven months. The federal and provincial governments helped fund the retooling.
“I am especially proud of the BrightDrop and CAMI teams working together to take the Zevo 600 from concept to commercialization in less than two years, making this the fastest launch in GM’s history,” said Marissa West, president and managing director of GM Canada. “Electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada is no longer something that’s happening in the future. It’s here and it’s now. That’s good for Canada, and good for the planet.”
For his part, Trudeau added: “When we invested in GM’s project to build Canada’s first full-scale electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, we knew it would deliver results. Today, as the first BrightDrop van rolls off the line, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. This plant has secured good jobs for workers, it’s positioning Canada as a leader on EVs, and it will help cut pollution. Good jobs, clean air, and a strong economy – together, that’s the future we can build.”