The skeletal structure of the new, 2.8 million square foot Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio is now complete, the automaker confirmed this week.
Ironworkers hoisted and installed the final beam last Friday as part of a traditional “topping out” ceremony, with leadership and other trade partner employees working on the site taking the opportunity to sign the beam and participate in a celebratory photograph.
“We are pleased construction at Ultium continues to progress safely and on schedule,” said Ultium Cells LLC president Kee Eun. “While we faced unprecedented challenges from the very beginning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to execute successfully according to plan thanks to the collaborative efforts between General Motors and LG Chem, as well as the support and commitment from our contract partners and the local community.”
The Ultium Cells plant is the result of a new joint venture between GM and Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem. The plant will mass-produce Ultium battery cells for electric vehicles and is expected to create more than 1,100 new jobs. Some future GM vehicles that will utilize GM’s new Ultium battery cell technology include the Cruise Origin robotaxi, GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV and Cadillac Lyriq crossover.
GM says Ultium Cells will onboard about 30 initial employees in March before the company starts hiring en masse closer to the site’s official opening next year. Once it is running at full capacity, the lithium-ion battery cell plant will have an annual capacity of around 30 gigawatt-hours, with room for more production to be added further down the line. It projected to cost around $2.3 billion to complete.
“This is a significant milestone for the Ultium Cells team and our construction trade partners as we continue to build our physical foundation through the construction of our site, and our cultural foundation as we stand up our workforce,” added Tom Gallagher, operations director for Ultium Cells LLC. “Ultium Cells is on track to achieve our vision of an inclusive and engaged workforce as we add 30 more launch team members in March. It is exciting to see the team coming together to support the launch of this important business.”
The first vehicle to enter production utilizing Ultium battery cells will be the GMC Hummer EV, which will commence deliveries later this year.