General Motors
Ultium Cells Llc Spring Hill Tenn 800

GM Stakes $2.3B for a Second Battery Plant

April 21, 2021
Ultium Cells LLC, the General Motors/LG Energy joint venture, is building a second plant to produce the battery cells that will power the range of new EVs the automaker pledges to deliver.

General Motors Corp. and its joint-venture partner have marked $2.3 billion to establish a second plant for manufacturing battery cells, in Spring Hill, Tenn. Ultium Cells LLC – co-owned by GM and LG Energy Solution  – will build the 2.8-million sq.ft. plant on land leased from GM, starting immediately. The new plant will provide GM’s proprietary Ultium battery cells to the Spring Hill assembly plant.

The Ultium Cells joint venture was established in 2019 and is building an initial manufacturing gplant in Lordstown, Ohio. The Tennessee plant will be operational in late 2023, employing 1,300 workers, according to GM.

GM’s Spring Hill plant will produce the new Cadillac LYRIQ electric vehicle, while continuing to assemble the Cadillac XT6 and XT5.

No production volume for battery cells has been indicated for the new plant. Reportedly, this new plant will adopt “the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes,” with flexibility to adapt to advances in technology and materials for EV batteries.

“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,” stated GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

Prior to announcing the new Ultium Cells plant, since 2019 the automaker had staked more than $4.5 billion for capital investments in EV-related production at U.S. plants. GM has promised to increase spending on electric vehicle program development by 35%, to over $27 billion, and plans to make EVs 40% of its U.S. product line, with 30 EVs available by 2025.

The Ultium battery will be the power source for GM’s EV products, including cars, commercial vehicles, and “high-performance machines,” according to the automaker. The Ultium technology involves “large-format, pouch-style cells (that) can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack.

“This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design, according to GM. “Energy options range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 450 miles or more on a full charge with 0-60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds.” (GM noted that actual EV range may vary according to “several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, vehicle model, loading, use and maintenance.”

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