General Motors has announced investments of almost $7 billion to build an electric-vehicle battery plant in Michigan and retool a factory near Detroit to make electric Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
The two plants will employ about 4,000 people, GM estimated.
The state of Michigan gave GM $824 million in tax breaks and other economic incentives to keep the company’s new projects in its home state, according to The Wall Street Journal.
GM, who also is building battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, recently began building electric Humvees in a reconfigured Detroit-area plant, and has unveiled plans to make EVs at plants in Mexico and Ontario.
GM’s battery factories are a partnership between the automaker and LG Electric. The $2.6-billion cost of the new plants will be split evenly between the two companies.
The moves will help GM keep pace with the transition among U.S.-based auto companies from fossil fuel vehicles to electrics.
Ford’s electric version of its F150 pickup truck has booked more than 150,000 advance orders and will begin production this spring. The company already has devoted a second plant to make the trucks and is building new battery factories in Kentucky and Tennessee. 
Toyota will build a battery plant in North Carolina that will employ 1,750 workers, the company has said.
TREND FORECAST: As eager as auto companies are to meet rising demand for EVs, forces already long at work will keep production growing only slowly.
The global computer chip shortage will last through this year, and lithium for batteries—already up 400 percent in price in recent months (see related story in this issue)—will remain scarce, possibly for years, which we noted in “Commodities Supercycle Underway?” (11 May 2021) and “EV Battery Materials to be in Short Supply for Years” (27 Jul 2021).
Nickel, cobalt and other key minerals needed to make EVs also are falling further and further short of demand.
These shortages will help keep EV prices high and the cars out of reach for many who would like to buy them for years to come.
And, we maintain our forecast that the EV market will explode when a more advanced technology than the current batteries are invented.

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