GM & LG Energy Solution Plan Second US Battery Factory
Citing a report by the Wall Street Journal, Autoblog says General Motors and LG Energy Solution are in the planning stages for a second US battery factory. The two companies are jointly building a $2.3 billion battery factory next door to the former Lordstown factory in Ohio that they refer to rather grandly as the GigaPower factory. It will manufacture Ultium batteries for the Cadillac Lyriq, electric Hummer, and other electric cars due from GM in the near future.
It is understood the two companies are considering a location in Tennessee and are close to making a final decision as to where the new factory will be built. GM is refurbishing the Spring Hill factory, originally built to manufacture Saturn automobiles, to produce the Lyriq. GM may build electric cars for Acura, Honda’s premium division, in Spring Hill as well.
It would make sense to produce the batteries close to where the cars they will be fitted to are manufactured, but there may be other considerations that affect the final decision. For their part, both GM and LG have declined to comment on the plans, although the South Korean company did make a statement saying, “LG Energy Solution is also planning additional capacity expansion for other global OEMs located in the U.S.” GM says it will introduce 30 new electrified models globally by 2025, many of them for the Chinese market. But CEO Mary Barra says the company’s light duty passenger vehicles will be all electric by 2035.
General Motors has used all of its 200,000 federal EV credits, which means buyers of its electric cars no longer qualify for federal tax incentives. That could change, though, as there is a move afoot in Congress to expand the EV incentive to 600,000 cars from any one manufacturer, which would give GM a big boost as it tries to ramp up sales of electric cars. Whether or not that change will make it through Congress successfully remains to be seen, but with GM using its lobbying muscle to push for the change, there is reason to be optimistic.
GM says it is putting $7 billion into its EV push — not small change by any means — and all those electric cars will need lots of battery cells. GM’s partnership with LG suggests The General has got that part of its EV supply chain well covered.