General Motors and its go-to battery partner LG Chem are set to announce a new $2.3 billion battery plant this Friday, which will be situated close to its Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee.
According to Reuters, the new battery plant will be similar in size to the battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio that GM and LG Chem are currently building. The plant will allegedly produce a more cost-effective lithium-ion battery design than the one set to be manufactured in Lordstown, however, which will be used in the Cadillac Lyriq crossover. The Lyriq will enter production at the nearby Spring Hill Assembly plant in early 2022.
The new Spring Hill battery plant will not be finished in time for the Lyriq’s launch next year, so GM will source the battery for the vehicle from another LG Chem plant at first. The battery will not come from the Lordstown plant, it is understood, which will be responsible for producing battery cells for the GMC Hummer EV and Cruise Origin, among other new future GM EVs.
GM and LG Chem entered a joint venture agreement last year for producing battery cells called Ultium Cells LLC. In a statement, GM CEO Mary Barra said that combining the automaker’s manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s battery technology would “help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future,” and help ensure it has a consistent supply of the lithium battery cells it needs to mass-produce EVs on a large scale.
GM vice president for global product development Doug Parks revealed last year the automaker is already working on the second generation of its Ultium battery cell design. Parks said the second-gen Ultium battery will offer a 60 percent cost improvement over the 60 kWh battery used in the Chevy Bolt EV and will be twice as energy-dense.
GM is expected to make an official announcement on its Tennessee battery plant this Friday, at which point more information on the new plant should become available.