Electric Car

GM, LG Chem to build batteries in Tennessee

General Motors and LG Energy Solution plan to invest more than $2.3 billion (all figures in USD) in an Ultium battery facility in Spring Hill, Tenn., near the assembly plant that will build the Cadillac Lyriq EV, the companies said Friday.

Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is slated to open in 2023, Ultium Cells — GM and LG Chem’s joint venture — said in a statement. LG Energy Solution is the battery unit of LG Chem.

The facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant, which will begin building EVs next year, starting with the Lyriq midsize crossover. The 2.8-million-square-foot facility will create 2,300 manufacturing jobs, Ultium Cells said.

GM CEO Mary Barra said the plant, the second in the U.S. for the automaker and LG, is “another major step in our transition to an all-electric future.”

The automaker aims to have a zero-emissions light-vehicle lineup by 2035 and plans to launch 30 EVs globally through 2025.

“The support of the state of Tennessee was an important factor in making this investment in Spring Hill possible and this type of support will be critical moving forward as we continue to take steps to transition our manufacturing footprint to support EV production,” Barra said in the statement.

Ultium Cells will build the plant on land leased from GM. Reuters reported the second battery plant investment and location Wednesday.

GM and LG Chem formed Ultium Cells in December 2019, pledging to invest the same amount — $2.3 billion — to build a battery plant in northeastern Ohio, near GM’s former Lordstown Assembly plant. They broke ground on that plant in July.

“This partnership with General Motors will transform Tennessee into another key location for electric vehicle and battery production. 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,” LG Energy Solution CEO Jonghyun Kim said in the statement.

The new plant will use the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes and will adapt to technology and material advancements, Ultium Cells said in the statement.

GM’s future Ultium-powered EVs, which start with the GMC Hummer pickup this fall, are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most Ultium-powered EVs will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200-kilowatt fast-charging capability, but GM’s truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350-kW fast-charging capability. GM has said that Ultium-powered EVs will have a top range of 450 miles — 725 kilometres — on a full charge.

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