General Motors teams up with battery provider

09 December 2019

9 December 2019

LG Chem is to set up a joint venture with General Motors (GM) that will see both businesses invest $2.3 billion (€2.1 billion) in US battery production.

The new facility will see equal investment by the carmaker, as it looks to take advantage of a domestic supply of batteries for its upcoming range of electric vehicles. Building a production plant in the US will also give European businesses another option for the supply of the lucrative component.

This new joint venture will establish a battery-cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio and will create more than 1,100 new jobs, according to GM.

Environmental impact

The state-of-the-art plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce cells efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. 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 that brings together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce advanced-battery technologies, to reduce 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.’

Knowledge gathering

In addition to integrating the manufacturing of battery cells in the US, LG Chem will gain access to an experienced workforce, while also benefitting from a dedicated production stream of future EVs from GM’s next generation of battery-electric vehicles.

′Our joint venture 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 & CEO Hak-Cheol Shin. ′Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions.’

The announcement is the latest example of collaboration in the automotive industry, especially in the field of electric vehicles. LG Chem will be able to learn from GM in how it can build batteries for better vehicle integration through the partnership, which it can then look to implement in its other EV-battery factories.