General Motors and LG Chem have announced plans to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies will invest up to $2.3 billion through a new, equally owned joint venture company.
The joint venture will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio that is expected to create more than 1,100 new jobs. The state-of-the art plant expects to use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce cells efficiently and with little waste. The companies expect it to benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. The plant expects to be extremely flexible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials.
The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement that brings together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce advanced battery technologies, with the goal of reducing battery costs to industry-leading levels.
This announcement, along with the recent sale of GM’s manufacturing complex in Lordstown to Lordstown Motors Corp. for the production of battery-electric trucks, positions Northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley as a major hub for technology and electric vehicle manufacturing, the company said in a news release.
“With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future. We look forward to collaborating with LG Chem on future cell technologies that will continue to improve the value we deliver to our customers.”
This investment builds on GM’s $28 million investment in its Warren, Michigan battery lab announced late last year. It is also in addition to manufacturing investments in Ohio announced earlier this year totaling approximately $700 million that will create about 450 jobs in Toledo, Parma and Brookville, Ohio.
Groundbreaking is expected to take place in mid-2020.