(This story has been updated with a comment from General Motors.)
General Motors and LG Chem Ltd. are expected to announce plans for a second joint EV battery facility on Friday.
To be built near GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant, construction on the $2.3 billion plant reportedly begins next year, according to report from Reuters. The site would provide batteries for Cadillac’s first-ever fully electric vehicle, the Lyriq. Production on that battery-electric luxury crossover is also slated to begin late next year.
News about the Tennessee plant — and even a third possibly in Texas — began to circulate in early March with GM confirming at that time, but offering no other details. The two companies currently are in the midst of their first battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which will supply Ultium batteries for the upcoming GMC Hummer SUV and SUT as well as the all-electric Chevrolet Silverado. Officials have remained mum on the potential additional plants.
GM officials declined to comment about the possible plant or announcement to TheDetroitBureau.com.
Another plant in Spring Hill
Having the batteries near to the site where the EV is produced isn’t all that unusual. However, the new plant will produce a more cost-effective battery than what the Ohio facility is slated to manufacture, Reuters reported.
However, given the timeframe for the debut of the Cadillac Lyriq, it’s unlikely the new Tennessee battery facility will be ready in time for the new luxury EV. Instead, Reuters reports, those batteries will be sourced elsewhere — not from Lordstown — until the dedicated plant is up and running. There is no official timeline for that.
GM is investing $2 billion to build the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq, making it the company’s third U.S. facility to build EVs following the Orion Assembly plant in Orion, Michigan and Factory Zero in Detroit. The Spring Hill site, which was once home to its Saturn brand, currently builds the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 as well as the GMC Acadia. It also builds a variety of engines for GM’s full-size SUVs, pickups and crossovers.
Electrification plans and needs
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. Chevy just unveiled the second-generation Bolt 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.
Meanwhile, LG Chem just recently settled a dispute with rival South Korean battery maker, SK Innovation, receiving a $1.8 billion payment in exchange for dropping its lawsuits and protests against its competitor. SK Innovation is building a plant north of Atlanta to produce more than 300,000 batteries annually for Ford and Volkswagen.