General Motors is considering building a second US battery cell production facility with its joint venture partner LG Chem from Seoul, South Korea.
As the plant moves forward, it would be the latest in a series of investments aimed at expanding the auto giant’s electric vehicle portfolio. The company’s joint venture with LG, Ultium Cells LLC, is already building a $ 2.3 billion battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio.
The companies hope to make a decision about the plant in the first half of 2021, GM spokesman Dan Flores told .. He declined to give possible locations for the site, but Tennessee tops the list, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal.
GM has set ambitious goals to decarbonise its operations and has committed to major investments to get there. By 2025 alone, the company announced it would launch 30 of its brands’ EV models and spend $ 27 billion on electrification and automated technology – a 35% increase over 2020. By the mid-2030s, GM announced that it would its fleet will consist entirely of electric vehicles.
“With our commitment to a fully electric future, we will of course need a lot of battery cells,” said Flores.
He declined to comment on the ongoing battery cell shortage affecting EV makers Tesla and Nikola. President Joe Biden issued an executive order in late February instructing federal agencies to identify supply chain risks for batteries, semiconductors, and other critical goods, even if supply chains are dependent on “competitive nations”.
Mary Barra, CEO of GM, said in a presentation to virtual investors last week that the shortage of batteries is one reason the company is investing in manufacturing its own battery cells. She alluded to plans to expand the company’s battery cell manufacturing facilities but did not go into details.
“There is more to come than we announced,” she said.