As General Motors ramps up its push towards electric vehicles, they’re going to need more batteries to power them. So just as GM makes engines in Tonawanda, New York, they’re gearing up for battery manufacturing plants too. They already have one in the works for Lordstown, Ohio, but their Ultium drive technology will need more batteries than just this one plant can produce. And a new report from Reuters all but confirms the next battery plant for Spring Hill, Tennessee. The official announcement from GM should come Friday, April 16, and it will be in partnership with LG Chem, like the Lordstown factory.
More specifically, the Spring Hill General Motors battery plant will provide batteries for the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV initially. The luxury electric crossover is set to go into production some time next year at the nearby Spring Hill Assembly plant, where GM currently builds more conventional vehicles like the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5. Expect more electric vehicles to be produced in Spring Hill moving forward, given the close proximity to the battery production site.
The General Motors LG Chem battery plant is said to be a $2.3 billion venture, similar to the cost of the Lordstown factory. It’s also not expected to be finished by the time the Cadillac Lyriq goes into production, so it will supply its batteries from an outside LG Chem facility in the early stages of production. The report also says GM and LG Chem intend this site to produce, “a different, more cost-effective battery chemistry,” although it’s unclear how they will differ from the Ultium cells produced in Lordstown.
This new Spring Hill factory is almost certainly not the last battery plant General Motors will roll out as it reveals more electric vehicles over the coming years. LG Chem said last month they’re committing $4.5 billion to US battery production over the next four years, which help will fund at least two more factories. This is likely one of them, and although the others could be with other automakers, expect a few more to be announced for GM over the coming years.