General Motors and LG to Build its 2nd Battery Cell Plant in America

In a joint venture called Ultium Cells, GM and Lg have joined hands once again to build a battery cell factory in Tennessee; the companies’ first such factory is under construction in Ohio and is expected to be ready by 2022

General Motors has confirmed that it will build its second battery cell factory in America, once again in association with LG. The two already have a plant under construction in Ohio whereas this confirmation was received for a new plant in Tennessee.

An employee working on GM’s battery cell platform with LG: Ultium Cells, Credit: GM website

GM and LG’s first battery cell plant at Lordstown in Ohio is being constructed as a joint venture called Ultium Cells. The Lordstown plant will enable GM to activate its electrification strategy which will involve launching a number of electric vehicle models based on technology developed by Ultium Cells.

Although GM has confirmed plans to construct a second plant in Tennessee, it has not committed to other details, such as investment, expected capacity and timelines for construction and operations. The deliberations are ongoing and still at an early stage, but the presence of GM’s vehicle plant at Spring Hills makes Tennessee an excellent choice for a battery cell plant. GM has indicated that it wants to manufacture electric vehicles (the Cadillac Lyriq) at its Spring Hill plant with Ultium Cells. While the Lordstown plant could supply battery cells to GM’s electric vehicle plants in the North, such as Ohio and Michigan, the Tennessee plant would be ideally located to supply the same to e-vehicle plants at Texas, Kentucky in addition to Spring Hill.

Earlier this year, GM announced its ambitions to produce only electric vehicles starting 2035. The Lordstown plant will have a capacity of 30GW and is being constructed at a cost of $2.3 billion, borne by both firms. The plant is expected to be operational by 2022. While GM has stated that no formal decision regarding the Tennessee plant has been taken, it released a statement saying that it was hopeful that negotiations would reach a conclusive end by June this year.