Ultium Cells will invest $275 million in its Spring Hill, Tennessee, battery plant to expand EV battery cell output by 40%. The new expansion will help fuel GM’s aggressive EV strategy as it ramps production.
Ultium Cells was formed through a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solutions. The Spring Hill, Tennessee, location is the second battery cell factory established through the partnership.
In April 2021, GM CEO Mary Barra confirmed that “the addition of our second all-new Ultium battery cell plant in the US with our joint venture partner LG Energy Solutions is another major step in our transition to an all-electric future.”
The joint venture, Ultium Cells, initially invested $2.3 billion to build the 2.8 million square foot EV battery facility, which they claim will “use the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes.”
Ultium says progress is “well underway” after celebrating its million-hour milestone in September and is expected to begin production in late 2023.
The battery cells produced will be used for GM electric vehicles based on its Ultium platform, such as the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq built right down the street.
Ultium’s new investment will expand EV battery output by 15 GWh, aligning with GM’s electric vehicle strategy.
Ultium Cells investment to drive EV battery cell production
According to the EV battery maker’s press release, Ultium will use the $275 million investment to expand battery cell output from 35 GWh, as initially announced, to 50 GWh when the Spring Hill facility is fully operational.
Tom Gallagher, Ultium Cells LLC vice president of operations, commented on how the funds will help drive GM’s electric vehicle strategy, saying:
This investment will allow us to provide our customer GM more battery cells faster and support GM’s aggressive EV launch plan in the coming years.
GM’s vice president of EV Launch Excellence, Tim Herrick, added:
Ultium Cells will play a critical role in making GM’s commitment to an all-electric future a reality. By expanding battery cell output at Ultium Cells Spring Hill, this investment will help GM offer customers the broadest EV portfolio of any automaker and further solidifies our path toward U.S. EV leadership.
The first Ultium cell manufacturing facility opened in Warren, Ohio, which began production in August. And the third plant in Michigan is also under construction, slated to open in late 2024.
Ultium Cells expects to have over 130 GWh of battery cell capacity when all three EV battery plants are at full production. The cells will support GM’s goal of at least 1 million North American EV assembly capacity by mid-decade.
GM is expanding its EV supply chain for the long haul. The automaker has embraced the electric vehicle movement and is backing up its claims with action.
Although an extra 15 GWh battery capacity may not seem like much overall, it’s a telling sign of GM’s aggressive EV launch to come. Barra has insisted GM has what it takes to overthrow Tesla in EV production, but it won’t be easy as the EV leader continues expanding at an impressive pace.
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