- GM and South Korea-based battery manufacturer Samsung SDI are partnering to build a $3 billion U.S. battery production plant, the companies announced on Tuesday.
- The site, for which the location has not been publicized, will build nickel-rich prismatic and cylindrical battery cells and will have more than 30 GWh of capacity.
- The automaker will jointly operate the plant with Samsung SDI and expects to bring the site online in 2026. The companies claim the project will create thousands of jobs.
GM has spent the past several years working on plans to scale battery production with another South Korea-based partner, LG Chem. The two companies are currently in the midst of building and launching battery plants in Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee.
The automaker is now diversifying its battery supplier pool with its Samsung SDI partnership. The strategy is one it's been employing for the past year to retain greater control of its EV supply chain, signing agreements with lithium suppliers Livent and Energy Exploration Technologies Inc., as well as a deal with South Korea-based POSCO Chemical for the supply of cathode material.
The new factory will focus on further scaling production and leveraging new battery technologies from its innovation center in Warren, Michigan, according to Doug Parks, GM EVP of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. The goal is to produce battery packs that are lighter, cheaper and less complex.
"We will continue to scale production and optimize the chemistry of our pouch cells for performance, range and cost using new approaches pioneered at GM's Wallace Battery Center and by our technology partners," Parks said in a statement. "With multiple strong cell partners, we can scale our EV business faster than we could going it alone."
Plans for the new plant come as GM executives announced on an earnings call Tuesday that the company delivered 20,000 EVs in the U.S. in Q1.
The deliveries are welcome news for GM, with CEO Mary Barra reiterating on the call the automaker's plans to produce 400,000 EVs between 2022 and H1 2024, including 50,000 EVs in North America in the first half of this year, followed by 100,000 in the second half.
GM's joint battery venture with LG Chem, Ultium Cells, continues to lead that production charge, with the pair's Ohio plant expected to reach full capacity by the end of the year. Hiring at their Tennessee plant is expected to begin in weeks, Barra said on the call.
Amid the push, however, GM will cease production of its Chevrolet Bolt EV models by the end of the year, despite record sales in Q1.
"All of this is coming together in a way that will fundamentally change the narrative that traditional automakers can't deliver competitive EV margins," Barra said on the call. "We have a lot of work to do, but we have the right trajectory, and I believe we can get there much faster than people think.