The potential new battery factory in the US
In March, 2021, several media reported that General Motors (GM) was considering to build a new multibillion-dollar battery factory. It would be in Spring Hill, Tennessee and the potential project will procced with its partner LG Energy Solutions. LG Energy Solution is the battery-making operation at LG Chem. In the other article, we can see why LG Chem split its battery business into a new company.
GM confirms that the US automotive giant wants a second battery factory. It is already building a battery factory in Ohio near its former Lordstown Assembly plant. GM closed the plant in 2019 and later sold to electric truck manufacturer Lordstown Motors.
General Motors and LG Energy Solutions established their joint venture named “Ultium Cells LLC”. Dan Flores, GM spokesman told the media, “Ultium Cells LLC explores the second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States.” He also stated that, “We hope to have a decision on the potential project in the first half of 2021.” Based on the media, LG is planning more battery plants in the United States with GM, too.
Who is Ultium Cells?
According to its homepage, Ultium Cells focuses on the future of the transportation industry and its impact on the world. Battery cells are indispensable to reduce the use of fossil fuels. However, the company think that battery cells also have the potential to revolutionize passenger vehicles drastically, at the same time. They empower this potential by manufacturing battery cells in cutting-edge facilities where quality and safety are the top priorities.
Ultium Cells defines its mission as excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company. In addition, the mission is to contribute expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale. They have 8 core values/behaviors including Inclusion of All People, Speak Up! Be Bold and Engagement Leads to Collaboration.
Who is General Motors?
General Motors Company is an American multinational automotive manufacturer, and it was founded in 1908. Its head office is in Detroit, Michigan. According to General Motors’ homepage, its vision is “a World With Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion”.
To realize vision, their diverse team, which is more than 164,000 employees, brings collective passion for engineering, technology and design. They also value bold commitments to move them closer, and to achieve ambitious future.
Automotive companies accelerate battery productions
We live in the climate crisis era so that everyone should think of how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, many countries and cities announced that each of them wanted to achieve carbon neutrality within few decades. Thus, they also set new policies to ban new sales of combustion or diesel engine vehicles. It means that most of automotive manufacturers have to accelerate their electrification whether they want or not. It is a really tough challenge, but they should do.
When it comes to electric vehicles, the cost of batteries is one of big issues. How do automotive manufacturers reduce an EV’s costs? They might find a best partner to supply batteries for the best price. This is an option. In addition, to invest in Research and Development, and to realize technological advancements are other options. Another option is to procure batteries with car makers’ intentions. This is the way that GM do now.
The US automotive giant has already unveiled that it focuses on electric vehicles. Therefore, the company has to reduce the cost of batteries as much as it can. Even though the report does not show any final decision yet, Ultium Cells will establish the second battery plant definitely.