Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, is planning a more than $2.3 billion investment to build a second battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
Ultium Cells will build the new plant on land leased from GM. Construction on the 2.8 million-square-foot facility will begin immediately, and the plant is slated to open in late 2023. Once in service, the plant will supply battery cells to a nearby GM assembly plant.
In March, LG Energy Solution said it planned to invest more than $4.5 billion over the next four years to expand its battery production capacity in the U.S. by 70 GWh. The expansion will give the company a total production capacity of more than 110 GWh in the U.S.
GM’s Ultium battery technology use a large-format, pouch-style cell that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design. Energy options range from 50 to 200 kilowatt hours, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 450 miles or more on a full charge.
GM’s future Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400V battery packs and up to 200 kW fast charging capability; GM’s truck platform will have 800V battery packs and 350 kW fast charging capability.
Carbon neutral goal
In late January, GM said that it planned to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040. The company worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to develop what GM called “a vision of an all-electric future” as well as “an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035.”
To reach its goals, GM plans to transition to battery electric vehicles or other zero-emissions vehicle technology, source renewable energy, and leverage “minimal offsets or credits.”
The automaker said at the time that it believes the energy sector is “well on its way to a decarbonized grid” and that an all-electric future will be supported by renewable infrastructure and technology.
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