The Ultium Cells plant in Warren, Ohio, which operates as a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, conducted public fire and safety training with several fire departments in mid-April 2023, looking to better prepare first responders and second responders for incidents involving electric vehicles.
The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) and OnStar also participated in the training. The fire departments involved included those of Lordstown, Warren, and Newton Falls, with approximately 50 personnel present in total from all three.
The training program lasted for more than two hours and included hands-on demonstrations in how to correctly handle EV emergencies. GM and Ultium did not specify exactly what the training involved in the press release, but noted the event included material on the Cadillac Lyriq, the Chevy Bolt EV, and the GMC Hummer EV Pickup.
The Ultium Cells facility in Warren is the only Ultium Cells battery plant currently operational, producing U.S.-made batteries for GM electric vehicles. Two other factories are currently under construction. One of these, the Ultium Cells Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, is expected to begin production in late 2023. The other, Ultium Cells Lansing in Michigan, likely won’t be operational until almost a year later than Spring Hill in late 2024.
While GM wants to construct a fourth Ultium Cells plant in the U.S., LG Energy Solution backed out of plans to build a facility in Indiana, leaving the future of the project in that area uncertain.
However, GM recently confirmed a new joint venture with Samsung SDI to move forward with the fourth plant at a yet-undisclosed location. The Samsung alliance will result in Ultium batteries being produced with cylindrical battery cells in place of the pouch-style cells currently used. The pouch-style cells are a specialty of LG Energy Solution, while cylindrical calls are used by other EV automakers such as Tesla.
GM says 2023 through 2025 will be breakout years for its EV initiative. Analysts agree it stands a good chance of surpassing Ford’s electric vehicle sales but will face a more significant challenge in overtaking Tesla. However, The General first thoroughly developed its Ultium batteries, electric GM Ultium Drive motors, and its highly scalable BEV3 platform, giving it a springboard to rapidly increasing EV production.