General Motors said Tuesday that it will end Chevrolet Equinox output and begin dedicated production of the BrightDrop electric EV600 commercial van at CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., earlier than first planned.
The automaker also it will produce double the number of EV600 units built during the first year of production to keep pace with anticipated demand.
When GM announced the news for CAMI back in January, it said the investment would “support jobs and transform work at the plant over the next two years from Chevrolet Equinox production to a new focus on the production of EV600s, to serve the growing North American market for electric delivery solutions.”
Tuesday, the company said it is converting CAMI to dedicated BrightDrop production about two months sooner than expected.
Equinox production will end at CAMI in April 2022 and the BrightDrop equipment will be moved to Ingersoll, reducing the time required for plant changeover.
EV600 production will shift to the CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll in November 2022 following a four-month plant retooling.
As part of a collective agreement struck in January with Unifor, GM Canada agreed to a $1 billion-retooling at the CAMI plant to build BrightDrop EV600s.
“We are ramping up our support for BrightDrop production at CAMI to serve the growing market for electric delivery solutions,” Scott Bell, GM Canada president, said in a statement. “CAMI will play a key role in GM’s vision for a zero emissions future.”
CAMI-based BrightDrop production is anticipated to ramp up to two shifts in 2023 and, market permitting, three shifts of production as soon as 2024.
Working with supplier partners in the United States, BrightDrop remains on track to start initial production of EV600s later this year.
GM said it will meet customer demand for Equinox “with other plants in our manufacturing footprint as CAMI retools for BrightDrop production.”
BrightDrop is a new all-electric commercial delivery and logistics business from GM. It offers commercial customers an ecosystem of connected and electrified products and services that allow delivery and logistics companies to move goods while reducing emissions, according to the automaker.
Its initial products include the EP1 electric e-pallet, a software platform for fleet and asset management, and the EV600 light commercial vehicle that expands the Ultium battery platform to commercial vehicles.