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article imageGM and LG team up for a new generation of batteries Special

By Tim Sandle     Dec 14, 2019 in Technology
In a major re-positioning in the industry, General Motors and LG Chem have announced plans to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. This will be through a new company, jointly owned by the two players.
Together the companies will invest around $2.3 billion in the new venture. The new company is expected to require 1,100 new jobs, at a new Ohio-based facility. This facility is planned to have an annual capacity of more than 30 gigawatt hours with flexibility for expansion
The idea behind the new venture is to develop advanced technology with the aim of producing lower cost batteries, fuelled by the continuing expansion by automotive firms in electric vehicles. The new factory is scheduled to break ground in mid-2020 and start its operations in 2021.
This expansion will benefit GM in particular, according to White House trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro, who said: "The battery plant itself is a critical part of GM’s overall strategy to dominate the EV market over the next several decades."
With the news that GM and LG have partnered to build a 30 GWh battery manufacturing plant in the U.S., Lux Research Senior Analyst Christopher Robinson provides analysis for Digital Journal readers,
According to Robinson:, this type of development was on the cards: "The location and size of the announcement are unsurprising: 30 GWh is roughly the size of other large battery manufacturing facilities, and citing it near vehicle assembly reduces transportation costs."
Behind the headlines, Robinson notes: "What is significant about the announcement is that GM is forming a joint venture with a supplier and owning a share of battery production."
Drawing on other industry examples, Robison notes: "Competitors Nissan divested in their cell manufacturing ownership, and most other OEMs will make their own pack but purchase cells from suppliers, while VW is pursuing cell manufacturing through a low-risk engagement with startup Northvolt. Automakers may want more control over their supply chain and differentiation, and it won't be surprising if more OEMs take larger ownership of cell production."
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