Second Electric Chevrolet Coming to Michigan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
second electric chevrolet coming to michigan

That didn’t take long, did it? In a Friday morning announcement, General Motors said it plans to bring a second electric product to the Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit, home to the Chevrolet Bolt.

Forget Buick and Cadillac, too. This Bolt-based product is destined to carry the bowtie badge.

Details of the upcoming model are thin. GM would only refer to the “new Chevrolet electric vehicle” as a model “designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current award-winning Bolt EV architecture.”

Product details and timing will have to wait, the automaker said. The product addition, greased by $300 million from GM coffers, will add 400 jobs to the Orion facility. Orion current employs 880 hourly and 130 salaried employees.

“This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “GM will continue to invest in our U.S. operations where we see opportunities for growth.”

Media reports late last night suggested the model was originally slated for Chinese production, but ongoing trade tensions (and talks) put the kibosh on the plan. While GM didn’t mention China, it did admit the model had been “slated for production outside of the U.S.”

“Moving production to a U.S. manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement,” GM stated.

It’s easy to see the move as a ploy to lower political pressure on the company in the United States. After mothballing Lordstown Assembly and placing Detroit-Hamtramck’s post-January 2020 future in doubt, GM saw no shortage of backlash, not the least of which came from President Donald Trump. GM took pains to mention new opportunities for displaced workers in its media release.

“In addition to the job growth at the Orion plant, GM has job opportunities at several other U.S. manufacturing plants for virtually all U.S. hourly employees impacted by the recent announcement of unallocated plants,” the company stated. Odd that the announcement comes with no timeline attached…

As for the mystery Chevrolet model — you’re all thinking it’s a crossover, and so are we. No other bodystyle makes sense for a new EV. Even if the Bolt’s battery pack remains untouched, the hatchback’s 238 miles of range should keep a heavier, less aerodynamic crossover in the industry-acceptable 200-plus mile zone.

[Image: General Motors]

Join the conversation
2 of 20 comments
  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Mar 23, 2019

    I'd like to go full EV when I get rid of my 2013 Volt but I could never drive something as dorky and cheap looking on the inside as the Bolt. Hoping Cadillac comes up with a decent looking EV sedan that I can pick up used(lease return)for dirt like I did the Volt.

  • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Mar 26, 2019

    They could just call this new crossover EV the Volt. Wait, never mind: that makes too much sense.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.