General Motors and LG Energy Solution are apparently not pursuing their plan for a fourth joint battery cell plant in the USA. GM could instead build the planned plant in Indiana with a new partner at its side.
This is reported by the news agency Reuters, citing two sources. As recently as August 2022, things sounded quite different: a spokesperson for Ultium Cells, the battery cell joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, revealed at the time that they were considering a fourth factory in New Carlisle in the US state of Indiana. The joint venture had submitted an application for tax relief there, which it hoped would be approved before the end of August, it added. And: The fourth plant is supposed to be very similar to the other three battery factories and require an investment of more than two billion US dollars. Reuters is now specifically talking about about 2.5 billion US dollars, the equivalent of about 2.3 billion euros.
“We’ve been very clear that our plan includes investing in a fourth US cell plant, but we’re not going to comment on speculation,” GM responded to the rumours in a statement. LG Energy Solution said that talks about a fourth plant for its battery cell joint venture Ultium Cells, which operates with GM, are ongoing “but no decision has been made”.
As recently as mid-December, Ultium Cells had been granted a US$2.5 billion loan to build its three other US plants in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan. The lender is the US Department of Energy (DOE) through its Loan Programs Office (LPO).
Regarding the status of the battery cell production build-up, the joint venture between GM and LGES has already started producing battery cells at its first plant in Warren in the US state of Ohio in September 2022. The second plant in Spring Hill in Tennessee is scheduled to start operations at the end of 2023 and, according to the latest information, will be larger than originally planned. Ultium Cells’ third plant is being built in Lansing, Michigan, and is expected to start production lines at the end of 2024.
“This cell capacity keeps us on track to produce 400,000 EVs (electric vehicles) in North America by mid-2024 and we expect to have cell capacity to produce more than 1 million EVs annually in North America in 2025,” GM said to Reuters. Thus it is clear that the US carmaker will soon need more cell factories in the US and Canada. This would support the information of the Reuters sources, according to which GM – in the event of a confirmed project exit for LGES – could continue in Indiana with another partner.
– ADVERTISEMENT –