General Motors and LG Chem to collaborate on batteries
General Motors and LG Chem announced plans to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies say they will invest up to a total of $2.3 billion through a new, equally owned joint venture company.
The JV 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 1100 new jobs. The plant's goal is to produce cells efficiently, with little waste, and benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. The companies say the plant will be "extremely flexible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials." The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement the goal of reducing battery costs to industry-leading levels.
"With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions," said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. "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."
In addition to vertically integrating the manufacturing of battery cells in the U.S., LG Chem says it will gain access to an experienced workforce. It will also benefit from a dedicated production stream of future EVs from GM's next generation of battery-electric vehicles, including an all-new battery-electric truck coming in the fall of 2021.
"Our joint venture with the number one American automaker will further prepare us for the anticipated growth of the North American EV market, while giving us insights into the broader EV ecosystem," said LG Chem Vice Chairman and CEO Hak-Cheol Shin. "Our longstanding history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions."
This investment builds on GM's $28 million investment in its Warren, MI, 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.