SPRING HILL, Tenn.—General Motors and LG Energy Solution plan to invest more than $2.3 billion in an Ultium battery facility in Spring Hill, near the assembly plant that will build the Cadillac Lyriq EV, the companies said April 16.
Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is slated to open in 2023, Ultium Cells—GM and LG Chem's joint venture—said in a statement. LG Energy Solution is the battery unit of LG Chem.
The facility will supply battery cells to GM's Spring Hill assembly plant, which will begin building EVs next year, starting with the Lyriq midsize crossover. The 2.8-million-sq.-ft. facility will create 2,300 manufacturing jobs, Ultium Cells said.
GM CEO Mary Barra said the plant, the second in the U.S. for the auto maker and LG, is "another major step in our transition to an all-electric future."
The auto maker aims to have a zero-emissions light-vehicle lineup by 2035 and plans to launch 30 EVs globally through 2025.
"The support of the state of Tennessee was an important factor in making this investment in Spring Hill possible and this type of support will be critical moving forward as we continue to take steps to transition our manufacturing footprint to support EV production," Barra said in the statement.
Ultium Cells will build the plant on land leased from GM.
GM and LG Chem formed Ultium Cells in December 2019, pledging to invest the same amount—$2.3 billion—to build a battery plant in northeastern Ohio, near GM's former Lordstown Assembly plant. They broke ground on that plant in July.
"This partnership with General Motors will transform Tennessee into another key location for electric vehicle and battery production. It will allow us to build solid and stable U.S.-based supply chains that enable everything from research, product development and production to the procurement of raw components," LG Energy Solution CEO Jonghyun Kim said in the statement.
The new plant will use the most advanced and efficient battery cell manufacturing processes and will adapt to technology and material advancements, Ultium Cells said in the statement.
GM's future Ultium-powered EVs, which start with the GMC Hummer pickup this fall, are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most Ultium-powered EVs will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200-kilowatt fast-charging capability, but GM's truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350-kW fast-charging capability. GM has said that Ultium-powered EVs will have a top range of 450 miles on a full charge.
Shortly after the expansion was detailed, the UAW issued a statement.
"We believe that GM has a moral obligation to work with the UAW and the joint venture partner to make sure these are good paying union jobs like those of their brothers and sisters who make internal combustion engines," the UAW said.
Spring Hill changeover
In October, GM said it would spend $2 billion to renovate the Spring Hill assembly plant for EV production. The auto maker also has EV plants in Detroit and Orion, Mich.
Spring Hill will continue to build the gasoline-powered Cadillac XT5 and XT6, along with the electric Lyriq, but production of the GMC Acadia will move to Lansing, Mich.
GM also plans to build an Acura-branded crossover in Spring Hill starting in 2024, two sources familiar with GM's plans told Automotive News in January.
In September, GM and Honda signed a memorandum of understanding to form a North American auto alliance, which could include vehicles with similar underpinnings sold under both brands and collaboration on purchasing, R&D and vehicle platforms.