New facility in Tennessee to increase GM's ability to lead production of batteries at scale; Ultium battery tech is at the heart of GM's EV strategy
Ultium Cells, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, today announced a more than $2.3 billion (Rs 17,022 crore) investment to build its second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The facility will be located in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Ultium Cells will build the new plant on land leased from GM. The new battery cell plant will create 1,300 new jobs. Construction on the approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM's Spring Hill assembly plant.
"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," said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
"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 President and CEO Jonghyun Kim said. "Importantly, I truly believe this coming together transcends a partnership as it marks a defining moment that will reduce emissions and help to accelerate the adoption of EVs."
Ultium tech drives GM’s EV strategy
GM's proprietary Ultium battery technology is at the heart of the company's strategy to compete for nearly every EV customer in the marketplace, be it affordable transportation, luxury vehicles, work trucks, commercial trucks or high-performance machines.
Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Energy options range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 450 miles / 720 kilometres or more on a full charge with 0-100kph acceleration in 3 seconds.
GM's future Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast charging capability while GM's truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast charging capability.
With a 30-year history in the battery business, LG Energy Solution has made consistent, large-scale investments to accumulate enough stability, credibility and manufacturing experience to invent its own cutting-edge technologies. The company established its first research facility in the U.S. in the early 2000s. In 2010, the company built its first U.S battery plant in Holland, Michigan.
Through Ultium Cells, LG Energy Solution and GM will merge their advanced technologies and capabilities to help accelerate automotive electrification.
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