General Motors (GM) and LG Chem today announced plans to mass produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. The companies plan to invest up to a total of $2.3 billion through a new, equally-owned joint venture (JV).
The JV will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio that will create more than 1,100 new jobs. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in mid-2020.
The plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. It will be able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials, the partners say. The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement that brings together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce advanced battery technologies, with the goal of reducing battery costs to industry-leading levels.
This announcement, along with the recent sale of GM’s manufacturing complex at Lordstown to Lordstown Motors Corp. for the production of battery-electric trucks, positions Northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley as a major hub for technology and electric vehicle manufacturing, GM says.
“Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future. We look forward to collaborating with LG Chem on future cell technologies that will continue to improve the value we deliver to our customers,” said GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
In addition to vertically integrating the manufacturing of battery cells in the US, LG Chem will gain access to an experienced workforce and will also benefit from a dedicated production stream of future EVs from GM’s next generation of battery-electric vehicles, including an all-new battery-electric truck coming in the fall of 2021.
“Our joint venture with the No. 1 American automaker will further prepare us for the anticipated growth of the North American EV market, while giving us insights into the broader EV ecosystem,” said LG Chem vice chairman & CEO Hak-Cheol Shin.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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