The GM CAMI Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada has been idled due to a battery shortage. The facility produces GM’s all-electric BrightDrop delivery vans, and employs around 1,500 workers. Production is expected to resume on July 31st.
According to a report from The London Free Press, which cites a local labor union chairperson, demand for the BrightDrop delivery vans is high, with four years of orders currently on the books. Big name customers include FedEx, Walmart, Hertz, Verizon, and DHL Canada. However, the bottleneck now seems to be the raw materials to produce the batteries that power the vehicles. The spokesperson indicated that EV batteries were in short supply across GM’s production facilities.
GM is currently operating its Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown, Ohio, with several other battery facilities currently under construction, including a facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and another in Lansing, Michigan. The Spring Hill facility is expected to begin operation in 2024, while the Lansing facility is expected to begin operation in 2025. Additionally, it’s reported that GM Canada will build a 400,000-square-foot addition to the CAMI facility for further battery production capacity.
GM became the second biggest seller of EVs in the U.S. in Q1 of 2023, selling 20,670 units. The General also sold 15,652 EV units in Q2. GM is forecast to sell more than 70,000 EVs through the 2023 calendar year. Tesla remains the biggest EV producer in the U.S.
Per The London Free Press, the production shutdown at the GM CAMI Assembly plant is frustrating for workers, which were previously operating on rotating shifts, with two weeks on and four weeks off. Looking ahead, the battery shortage is expected to be a short-term issue, despite huge demand for the raw materials required to produce EV batteries.