In the burgeoning all-electric vehicle segment, battery technology is king. Now, General Motors has announced a joint development agreement with SolidEnergy Systems to advance the automaker’s lithium metal battery technology.
“Affordability and range are two major barriers to mass EV adoption,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss during the announcement of the joint development agreement at a Washington Post Live virtual conference earlier today. “With this next-generation Ultium chemistry, we believe we’re on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation improvement in energy density and cost. There’s even more room to improve in both categories, and we intend to innovate faster than any other company in this space.”
GM Ventures invested in SolidEnergy Systems six years ago, kicking off a working relationship between the tech company and GM’s research and development team. SolidEnergy Systems is considered a research, development, and manufacturing leader in lithium metal battery technology and AI-powered battery management software.
As part of the recently announced joint development agreement, General Motors and SolidEnergy Systems will build a manufacturing prototyping line in Woburn, Massachusetts, with plans to release a high-capacity, pre-production battery in 2023.
GM’s new prototype lithium metal battery has undergone 150,000 simulated test miles at the automaker’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.
General Motors announced its first-generation Ultium Platform last year. The automaker has plans to launch 30 new EV models globally by 2025, two-thirds of which will be sold in North America. Additionally, GM unveiled BrightDrop, a new business venture that will provide last-mile electric delivery solutions, software, and services to delivery and logistics companies.
General Motors previously announced a joint venture with LG Energy Solution called Ultium Cells LLC, which will mass-produce battery cells in Ohio. GM also previously announced that its Detroit-Hamtramck facility (now known as Factory Zero) will by the automaker’s first plant devoted entirely to electric vehicle production, starting with the all-new GMC Hummer EV.