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GM to open battery cell development center in push to cut EV costs By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : A new GM logo can be seen on the Detroit General Motors headquarters, Michigan, U.S.A, March 16th 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT, (Reuters) – General Motors Co. (NYSE 🙂 said Tuesday it will establish a southeast Michigan battery cell research center to lower the costs and improve the performance of electric vehicles that use lithium ion or solid-state batteries.

On the No. GM announced that the U.S.’s No. 1 automaker’s technical campus will open in 2022. They plan to begin manufacturing prototype cells during the fourth quarter.

Ken Morris, GM’s vice president of electric vehicles and self-driving cars, stated on a conference phone call that “the key to making these automobiles affordable is going to the cell cost in battery packs.” He said that GM would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build the center.

GM announced that it will invest $35 billion in EVs and auto-driving vehicles between 2025 and 2025. It is also expected to set targets for the future at its Wednesday investor day.

GM is partnering with LG Energy Solutions to help South Korea’s LG Chem. ()It will be using the funds to further develop its Ultium battery technology. Two joint venture battery plants were announced by the companies, and GM stated that it plans to open another two.

GM has set a goal to reduce emissions in all its light cars by 2035.

Consumers will be more interested in EVs if they can lower their costs. A large part of this is due to the battery. GM stated that it would like to see at least 60% less battery cost in its next generation Ultium. Officials also said that future products will be able to provide electric driving distances up 600 miles (965km) with a single charging.

This new facility measures almost 300,000. It covers 27.900 sq. meters. The facility will be in partnership with SES (a Massachusetts-based company that GM established a partnership with) and it is expected to open up for business.

This center is named after Bill Wallace who was a former executive and played a critical role in the creation of GM’s advanced battery technology. He died in 2018 from cancer. It will have the ability to produce large-format lithium-metal prototype batteries, as well develop silicon, solid-state, and other technologies.

The company will develop innovative production techniques for battery plants.

Ford Motor (NYSE) Co, a rival of GM, announced that in April it was investing $185 million in a EV-battery development center. This will be open late in 2022.

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