GM is about to announce a new massive battery cell gigafactory in the US in partnership with LG Energy Solutions, according to industry sources.
One of the most important things for an automaker, in order to produce a large number of electric vehicles, is to secure battery cell supply.
Automakers have different approaches ranging from simply having supply contracts with battery manufacturers to investing in building their own battery cells.
Several automakers have been opting for something in between, where they partner with battery manufacturers to deploy new cell production capacity for their own new vehicles.
With the Chevy Bolt EV, GM used to just buy cells from LG Chem, now LG Energy Solutions.
But with the introduction of its next-gen electric vehicles using the Ultium powertrain platform, GM has decided to create a partnership with LG to produce their own battery cells as part of a joint venture.
The joint venture, called Ultium Cells LLC, started with a battery cell factory in Lordstown, Ohio, that has been under construction for over a year.
With a “more than 30 gigawatt hours” of planned capacity, the factory is considered a “gigafactory” – a term popularized by Tesla and first used for Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada to refer to a battery cell factory producing over 1 gigawatt-hour of energy capacity per year.
The Ultium Cells joint venture has been rumored to be working on a second gigafactory in the US, and now it’s all but confirmed.
Reuters reports that industry sources confirmed that GM is going to announce a new $2.3 billion gigafactory project with LG in Spring Hill, Tennessee:
General Motors Co and South Korean joint-venture partner LG Chem Ltd will announce a second US battery cell manufacturing plant on Friday, revealing plans for a $2.3 billion factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, three people familiar with the matter said.
GM already has an assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and it announced last year that it will be investing $2 billion into the factory to transition it to produce electric vehicles, starting with the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV,.
The report states that the battery cells to be produced at the new factory will go into the Cadillac Lyriq, but they will be different from the cells produced in Lordstown:
The plant will use a different, more cost-effective battery chemistry than the one the companies will offer from the joint-venture plant they are building in Lordstown, Ohio, the sources said on Wednesday.
The timing and production capacity of the new battery factory project are still unclear, but the details are expected to be officially announced as soon as Friday.
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