GM Venture to build a chemical battery plant
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General Motors forms a joint venture with South Korea’s Posco Chemical to build a battery materials plant in North America, as it brings more steps in the electric vehicle supply chain under its umbrella.
The Detroit automaker said on Dec. 1 that details of the company were still being worked out, including investment amounts and the location of the plant. GM said the plant would provide materials to make cathodes, the energy hub of a battery that accounts for 40% of the cost.
The plant will employ hundreds of people and begin manufacturing materials in 2024, said Doug Parks, GM’s global head of product development and supply chain.
The plant will supply four North American battery cell factories that GM plans to build. Two of these locations were announced, Spring Hill, Tenn., And Lordstown, Ohio.
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âIncreasing battery production is central to our strategy to drive mass adoption of electric vehicles,â Parks told reporters on December 1. “I think it helps solidify the supply chain and add security to it.”
Automakers are rushing to recruit suppliers of scarce battery materials and components in anticipation of a widespread shift from internal combustion vehicles to those powered by electricity.
Auto industry executives polled by KPMG International say they expect more than half of new vehicle sales in the United States to be battery-powered by 2030.
GM plans to build 30 electric vehicles worldwide by 2025 and says it will spend $ 35 billion between 2020 and 2025 on electric and autonomous vehicles.
At present, GM does not sell any electric vehicles. It is building pre-production versions of the GMC Hummer EV, which will go on sale soon. But he had to stop selling the small SUV and Chevrolet Bolt hatchback due to a recall over battery fires.
Parks said the cathode materials plant should help GM lower battery costs. He said the company plans to release a small Chevrolet crossover SUV for around $ 30,000, and another SUV at an even lower price.
The new plant will fabricate materials for GM’s new Ultium battery chemistry, using nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum, Parks said. A cathode is the negative terminal where current leaves a battery.
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