CAMI expanding operations to build more electric vehicles

GM announces the BrightDrop EV410, a medium-size electric light commercial vehicle that will be produced at the CAMI Plant in Ingersoll in 2023. Photo supplied by General Motors)

The CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll is making room to start building another type of electric commercial vehicle.

On Tuesday, GM and Unifor announced a compact all-electric van will start being produced in the plant in 2023. The BrightDrop EV410 is described as a mid-size delivery van suitable for service as an online grocery delivery or telecom maintenance vehicle.

Earlier this year, General Motors signed a $1-billion deal with Unifor that would bring production of the BrightDrop EV600, a large commercial van, to the Ingersoll plant.

Large-scale production of the EV600 is expected to begin in November 2022. In comparison, the EV410 is equipped with just over 400 cubic feet of cargo space while the EV600 has 600 cubic feet. Both have an estimated range of 400 kilometres on a full battery and weigh less than 10,000 lbs. Verizon is slated to be the first EV410 customer while BrightDrop previously secured FedEx as a customer for the EV600.

“We know worldwide demand for front-door delivery is growing exponentially,” said CAMI Chair Mike Van Boekel. “Our members are proud to step up and build the next generation of vehicles that will help reduce carbon emissions and meet the needs of our rapidly changing economy.”

While the news of a second vehicle comes with additional job security for CAMI’s union workers, the plant remains shut down. Other than a three-week period in June, the auto manufacturing facility has been down since February 2021 due to a global semiconductor parts shortage.