Work on the new Ultium Cells plant in Lansing, Michigan has officially begun, with construction on the sprawling plant’s steel skeleton kicking off on Wednesday.
The Lansing plant will be the third Ultium Cells facility in the U.S., joining the company’s plants in Ohio and Tennessee. The 2.8-million-square-foot facility is close to the GM Lansing Grand River, Lansing Delta Township and GM Factory Zero plants and will supply battery cells for a variety of future GM electric vehicle models, including the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV. It will employ roughly 1,700 people once it’s fully operational in 2024 and will support an annual battery production capacity equivalent to 50 gigawatt hours.
Ultium Cells President Kee Eun said construction work on the Lansing facility is so far “progressing safely and on schedule,” with steel construction set to be complete in early 2023.
“Ultium Cells remains focused on delivering quality and safety with maximum efficiency as we build our foundation here in Lansing,” Eun said. “We are grateful for the continued support from our construction partners, the greater Lansing community and the State of Michigan.”
Ultium Cells, which is a joint venture between GM and Korean supplier LG Chem, is also eyeing a fourth battery cell production facility in Indiana and has already applied to receive a tax abatement from the town of New Carlisle in the state.
The Ultium battery plants will manufacture large format, pouch-type nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) battery cells, which will later be packed into GM vehicle battery packs. The automaker’s Ultium battery pack design is modular, allowing the cells to be stacked in different arrangements to create batteries of varying sizes and energy densities. This allows the same cell design to be used across a wide variety of GM EVs, from pickups to crossovers, performance cars and more.