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The New GM’s Ultium Odyssey is Here to Power Electric Revolution

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GM Ultium platform

To meet the ever-growing demand for electric vehicles globally, GM is working hard to accomplish its claim of introducing 30 new global Electric Vehicles.

In mid-2021, GM announced that it would be bolstering up investments in the EV and Autonomous Vehicle segment by up to $35 billion by the year 2025.

LG Chem and GM Ultium
GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra  and LG Chem Vice Chairman

One of the most notable developments in this area was GM’s partnership with LG Energy Solutions to increase the supply of batteries for these vehicles. The agreement was part of an effort to keep the US as the hub of EV manufacturing.  

The two companies agreed that GM would be responsible for building the packs whereas LG would be responsible for battery cell production.

GM Ultium
Image source from GM press room

Expansion of Ultium Cell Manufacturing in the US

The agreement mandated the construction of three battery cell plants, one each in Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee, solidifying a US commitment to domestic battery production.

GM Ultium
Ultium Cells

The first Ultium cell manufacturing plant was constructed in Ohio and the battery cells production in this plant started in August 2022. It is a large facility that hired around 3800 employees.

The second plant located in Tennessee was announced in April 2021 and is likely to begin operations in January 2024, creating around 1700 jobs.

The Ultium Cells EV Battery Plant in Michigan will cost approximately $2.7 billion and employ 1700 people. This plant was conceived as a result of the state of Michigan’s incentive to attract electric vehicle manufacturers.

GM battery plant
Ultium Cells Lordstown Plant. Warren-Ohio

Innovative Features of Ultimum Battery

The partnership between GM and LG is momentous because the Ultium batteries offer a wide array of benefits. Some of these include:

  • GM engineers have the flexibility to arrange the pouch-style large cells in Ultium batteries either vertically or horizontally. This capability enables them to optimize the layout of cells and the storage of battery energy according to the design of each vehicle.
  • The battery storage capacity ranges from 50 to 200 kWh. Such output can result in a range of around 450 miles. This makes it an impressive acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds.

Strategic Shift: GM’s Selection of Samsung As Partner for Fourth Battery Cell Plant

Samsung battery supplier
samsung sdi primx batteries

Earlier last year, a significant setback occurred for the partnership. The two companies had decided to shelve plans related to the construction of the fourth battery plant.

In April 2023, GM announced that it had selected the South Korean giant Samsung as its partner for the construction of the company’s fourth battery cell plant in the US. The plant will be constructed in Indiana and will cost around $3 billion.

What Are The Future Prospects Of GM’s Ultium Battery Platform?

Shelving the fourth battery plant doesnt spell doom for the partnership

The three originally planned battery cell manufacturing plants are still progressing. The plant at Lansing is most likely to commence operations by the end of 2024.

Final Verdict

The main benefit of the Ultium platform is the production volume of the company. GM’s North American EV assembly capacity is likely to reach the 1-million-unit mark by mid-decade. This milestone will play a big role in a greener future.

That’s because resultantly, we will have a higher number of battery-powered environment-friendly cars on the roads.

To keep up with what’s happening in the EV world, check out more from our blog

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