Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, is investing $2.3 billion to build its second battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
The 2.8 million-square-foot facility will be built on land leased from GM, with construction beginning immediately and the plant expected to open in late 2023. Once operational, the 1,300 workers will make battery cells for GM’s Spring Hill vehicle assembly plant.
“The addition of our second all-new Ultium battery cell plant in the U.S. with our joint venture partner LG Energy Solution is another major step in our transition to an all-electric future,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “The support of the state of Tennessee was an important factor in making this investment in Spring Hill possible, and this type of support will be critical moving forward as we continue to take steps to transition our manufacturing footprint to support EV production.”
The Spring Hill plant will begin using the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes, while being flexible to ongoing advances in technology and materials in the future.
“This partnership with General Motors will transform Tennessee into another key location for electric vehicle and battery production. It will allow us to build solid and stable U.S.-based supply chains that enable everything from research, product development and production to the procurement of raw components,” said LG Energy Solution President Jonghyun Kim.
GM’s proprietary Ultium batteries are unique in the industry because of the large format, pouch-style cells 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 of up to 450 miles or more on a full charge with 0-60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds. The batteries are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging.
LG Energy Solution has been making batteries for 30 years, creating its own manufacturing technologies. It established its first research facility in the U.S. in the early 2000s and built its first U.S. battery plant in Holland, Michigan, in 2010.
Within the last 18 months, GM has committed more than $27 billion to EV and AV product development, including $7 billion in 2021. GM plans to launch 30 EV automobiles globally by the end of 2025, with more than two-thirds of them available in North America.
In 2019, GM formed Ultium Cells LLC with LG Energy Solution to mass produce batteries in Lordstown, Ohio, for future battery-electric vehicles. Construction of this $2.3 billion plant is underway.