Reporting Kai Jackson
WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) — Rising gas prices have sparked a lot of interest in electric cars. Now important technology for those cutting-edge cars will be made right here in Maryland.
Kai Jackson has details on the groundbreaking of a new GM plant.
The plant being built in White Marsh will be the first of its kind in the U.S. as GM banks on the future of electric car technology. Thanks to soaring gas prices, GM’s new electric hybrid Chevy Volt is already wildly popular, with drivers on long waiting lists to get them. Electric and electric-hybrid technology like the Volt are considered by many in the government and in the auto industry as the answer to skyrocketing gas prices and the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
“Electric motors are the engine of the future,” said Mike Robinson, GM.
GM officials were excited to break ground on their new electric motor plant Tuesday, a $270 million facility that will be built right next to their successful Allison Transmission Plant on Philadelphia Road in White Marsh.
“This is part of our goal to design and manufacture motors, which will ultimately lower costs, increase reliability and performance for the vehicles we intend to build for decades to come,” Robinson said.
Maryland’s already leading the push to drive electric, installing the second highest number of electric car charging stations in the country and passing several tax incentives to encourage drivers to buy electric sooner.
State, local and federal subsidies will help build the new plant, which is expected to crank out some 40,000 motors a year.
“We’re going to make it in America. We’re going to do it right and Allison is the key,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
“These jobs could have gone to other states. They could have gone to other countries, but they are here because of the choices we make together,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
Construction on the new plant is expected to be completed sometime in 2013.
Constellation Energy will build, own and maintain a rooftop solar installation that will help provide green energy to power the new plant.