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GM has started building its next-gen EV battery factory

General Motors and LG Chem have announced this week that construction has officially begun at the future site of the joint venture Ultium Cells factory, which will mass-produce battery cells for electric vehicles.

Just over five months after American vehicle manufacturer General Motors and Korean chemical company LG Chem announced plans to jointly invest $US2.3 billion into a new battery cell assembly plant, the two companies have announced the beginning of ground preparation at the site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio.

Intended as a “state-of-the-art” battery assembly plant using “the most advanced manufacturing processes,” the new plant will mass produce battery cells “efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain.”

Expected to create more than 1,100 new jobs, the new facility will bring together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce battery technologies and provide LG Chem with access to a large and experienced workforce.

When originally announced in December 2019, the two companies projected the new battery plant would have an annual production capacity of more than 30GWh with flexibility for expansion as necessary.

Impressively, development of the joint venture plant has continued apace despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.

General Motors said this week that product development work on GM’s future EV and AV portfolios continued to progress “at a rapid pace” and production timing remained on track for the yet-to-be-revealed Cadillac Lyriq and GMC HUMMER EV, all of which wouls be powered by the Ultium battery system.

“Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, speaking in December 2019.

“We look forward to collaborating with LG Chem on future cell technologies that will continue to improve the value we deliver to our customers.”

“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,” added LG Chem Vice Chairman & CEO Hak-Cheol Shin.

“Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions.”

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