Despite some bad weather across the country, General Motors is putting iron and concrete behind its promise to bring on an entire family of electric vehicles at sites in Ohio and Tennessee.
GM marked a milestone in Lordstown, Ohio when ironworkers put the final beam in place for the 2.8-million-square-foot Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing plant.
The beam was fastened into place as part of a traditional “topping out” ceremony. “We are pleased construction at Ultium continues to progress safely and on schedule,” said Kee Eun, president of Ultium Cells LLC despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New joint venture for batteries
Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem, will mass produce Ultium battery cells in the new plant GM and LG Chem are investing $2.3 billion in the facility, which is scheduled for completion in 2022.
The plant will equal the size of 30 football fields and have annual capacity of more than 30 gigawatt hours with room to expand. The building’s design allows for an open floor plan environment, with a main corridor spanning the width of the building interior and creating a natural connection point across the operation.
“This is a significant milestone for the Ultium Cells team and our construction trade partners as we continue to build our physical foundation through the construction of our site, and our cultural foundation as we stand up our workforce,” said Tom Gallagher, operations director of Ultium Cells LLC.
Construction at Spring Hill site
Steel also going up for a new body shop at GM’s Spring Hill complex in Tennessee, which will become company’s third U.S. vehicle manufacturing site to produce electric vehicles, joining Factory ZERO in Detroit, Michigan, and Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. The company has a fourth location in Ingersoll, Canada it’s converting to build electric delivery vehicles.
Last year, GM announced a $2 billion investment in Spring Hill to build fully electric vehicles, including the all-new Cadillac Lyriq. The new body shop now under construction will include 324,000 square feet dedicated to building major sheet metal components for the new Cadillac BEV.
“This is a historic moment for Spring Hill and the first major building expansion for our vehicle assembly space since initial opening in 1990,” said Jeff Lamarche, plant executive director of Spring Hill’s vehicle assembly plant. “The Lyriq will be the first of many EVs to be produced at Spring Hill and we’re honored and excited to be a part of GM’s all-electric future,” he added.
The Spring Hill complex builds both vehicles and engines and has more than 3,200 employees. The facility will produce traditionally powered vehicles along with EVs.