GM commits to more EV battery production

GM commits to more EV battery production

Automaker to partner with South Korea’s LG on $2.3 billion facility in Tennessee.

Subscribe

Detroit-based General Motors (GM) has announced its joint venture (JV) with South Korea-based LG Energy Solution, known as Ultium Cells LLC, is going to make a $2.3 billion investment to build the JV’s second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The facility will be in Spring Hill, Tennessee, about 35 miles from Nashville.

The projected 2.8 million-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant, where the Cadillac Lyriq EV will be among the models assembled.

“The addition of our second all new Ultium battery cell plant in the U.S. with our joint venture partner LG Energy Solution is another major step in our transition to an all-electric future,” says GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

“This partnership with General Motors will transform Tennessee into another key location for electric vehicle and battery production,” says LG Energy Solution President and CEO Jonghyun Kim. “It will allow us to build solid and stable U.S-based supply chains that enable everything from research, product development and production to the procurement of raw components.”

GM says its proprietary Ultium battery technology is “at the heart of” the company’s strategy “to compete for nearly every EV customer in the marketplace, whether they are looking for affordable transportation, luxury vehicles, work trucks, commercial trucks or high-performance machines.”

In a fact sheet posted to its website, GM says Ultium batteries “are expected to have some of the highest nickel and lowest cobalt content [available] in a large format pouch cell.”

In 2019, GM announced the formation of the Ultium Cells JV and its initial plan to mass-produce battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio, for future battery-electric vehicles. Construction of that $2.3 billion facility is underway.

In total, GM says it has committed more than $27 billion to EV and alternative fuel vehicle product development, including $7 billion in 2021. The company says it plans to launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025, with more than two-thirds available in North America. Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick will all have EV models in showrooms.

In October 2020, GM announced it would invest $2 billion in its Spring Hill assembly plant to begin the transition to become the company’s third vehicle manufacturing site to produce electric vehicles, joining Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan, and Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan.