DETROIT - General Motors announced it will invest $336 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to begin production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car in 2010, bringing total Volt-related investments in Michigan to $700 million, covering eight facilities.
Detroit-Hamtramck will be the final assembly location for the Volt, using tooling from Grand Blanc, lithium-ion batteries from GM's Brownstown Township battery pack manufacturing facility, camshafts, and connecting rods from Bay City, and stampings and the Volt's 1.4L engine-generator from Flint.
"We expect the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be the first facility in the U.S. owned by a major automaker to produce an electric car. It is the hub for the wheel that we began rolling in 2007 when the Volt debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit," said Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of global product planning. After the Volt's debut in January 2007, other automakers announced six plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles later that year, followed by 19 introductions in 2008 and five more this year.
To reduce cost and maximize flexible manufacturing techniques, some equipment for Volt production is being reused from other GM facilities and installed in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant's body shop. The Volt will be built on the existing assembly line at Detroit-Hamtramck. Assembly of Volt prototype vehicles will begin in the spring, with the start of regular production scheduled for late 2010.
The Volt's extended-range capability is designed to allow the electric vehicle to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt's lithium-ion battery is depleted of energy, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to about 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery. Pricing has not been announced.