The expected tidal wave of electric vehicles coming by 2030 has many wondering where all the batteries needed will come from, and General Motors is moving to make sure it will have some.
The company revealed it’s mulling plans to construct a second battery plant with LG Chem in Tennessee and possibly a third to follow.
The second plant is likely to be located in Spring Hill, near its existing plant where it’s investing $2 billion to build the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq. The company, according to Reuters, is in talks with Tennessee government officials about building the new plant.
GM confirmed to Reuters it is “exploring the feasibility of constructing a second, state of the art battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States” with current partner, South Korea’s LG Chem. Nothing beyond the plan, i.e. size, cost, volume, etc., was revealed by the company.
GM’s EV plans
The Detroit-based company is in the midst of building a $2.3 billion battery production facility with LG Chem in Lordstown, Ohio. The company currently runs a battery-assembly facility in Brownstown Township, Michigan to produce batteries while also buying them from other companies.
GM’s CEO Mary Barra has led the charge into the electric vehicle arena, championing a $27 billion plan to develop electric and autonomous vehicles for the next five years. The company’s unveiled an all-new GMC Hummer truck, which will be all electric.
Down the road an SUV version will hit the streets, and be joined by a full-size electric pickup and the aforementioned Lyriq.
The company’s Chevrolet Bolt hit the streets in 2017. Chevy just unveiled the second-generation model and a larger crossover sibling for the 2022 model year. In all, the company’s plans call for 30 EVs globally by 2025.
Barra wants the company to surpass its earlier target of annual sales of 1 million EVs in the United States and China by 2025.
Battery supply and demand
The automaker’s not alone in its shift to electric vehicles with virtually every major automaker and a slew of nascent EV companies looking to grab a share of the battery-powered pie during the next decade. This accelerated push into the segment begs the question: where will automakers get all the batteries they need?
Perhaps the king of the EV world, Tesla’s Elon Musk earlier noted the company hasn’t produced its much-ballyhooed semi truck — despite reportedly having thousands of orders in hand — because the massive number of batteries it required meant it would have to cut production of its hot-selling Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.
President Joe Biden campaigned, in part, on a promise to accelerate the arrival of electric vehicles including 1 million EV-related jobs and 500,000 electric-vehicle chargers by 2030. Late last month, he signed an executive order for a study to learn how to “better leverage our sizeable lithium reserves” to expand EV battery production.