According to an exclusive report from Reuters, General Motors and LG Chem are expected to announce an EV battery joint venture in Ohio.

***UPDATE: It's now official.

The official statement from GM says that the $2.3 billion lithium-ion cell effort (50/50 with LG Chem) will be capable of producing more than 30 GWh of batteries annually with an option for further expansion.

Assuming an average of 50 to 100 kWh battery packs, that amount of batteries would be enough for 300,000 to 600,000 BEVs annually, which shows us the scale of the project.

Moreover, a new production facility in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio will create more than 1,100 new jobs.

Here's the full press release on the battery JV:

General Motors and LG Chem Team Up to Advance Toward an All-Electric Future, Add Jobs in Ohio

  • Will create more than 1,100 new jobs in a new, Ohio-based facility
  • Joint venture to drive cost per kilowatt hours to industry-leading levels
  • New battery plant to have an annual capacity of more than 30 gigawatt hours with flexibility for expansion
  • Companies enter joint agreement to develop advanced tech, lower cost batteries

DETROIT — General Motors (NYSE: GM) and LG Chem today announced plans to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies will invest up to a total of $2.3 billion through a new, equally owned joint venture company.

The JV will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the Lordstown area of Northeast Ohio that will create more than 1,100 new jobs.

The state-of-the art plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce cells efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. The plant will be extremely flexible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials.

The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement that brings together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce advanced battery technologies, with the goal of reducing battery costs to industry-leading levels.

This announcement, along with the recent sale of GM’s manufacturing complex in Lordstown, Ohio to Lordstown Motors Corp. for the production of battery-electric trucks, positions Northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley as a major hub for technology and electric vehicle manufacturing.

“With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem’s leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future. We look forward to collaborating with LG Chem on future cell technologies that will continue to improve the value we deliver to our customers.”

In addition to vertically integrating the manufacturing of battery cells in the U.S., LG Chem will gain access to an experienced workforce. It will also benefit from a dedicated production stream of future EVs from GM’s next generation of battery-electric vehicles, including an all-new battery-electric truck coming in the fall of 2021.

“Our joint venture with the No. 1 American automaker will further prepare us for the anticipated growth of the North American EV market, while giving us insights into the broader EV ecosystem,” said LG Chem Vice Chairman & CEO Hak-Cheol Shin. “Our long-standing history with General Motors has proven our collective expertise in this space, and we look forward to continuing this drive for zero emissions.”

This investment builds on GM’s $28 million investment in its Warren, Michigan battery lab announced late last year. It is also in addition to manufacturing investments in Ohio announced earlier this year totaling approximately $700 million that will create about 450 jobs in Toledo, Parma and Brookville, Ohio.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place in mid-2020.

The news remains unofficial, but we assume highly probable, especially as it was hinted at since October 2019.

Reuters' unofficial sources say that the official announcement about a 50:50 joint venture is expected on Thursday (today).

In brief, GM-LG Chem joint venture lithium-ion battery cell factory to be built near GM's closed Lordstown, Ohio, factory (recently sold to Lordstown Motors).

The total investment of more than $2 billion (more than $1 billion from each partner) hints at a pretty serious scale, although maybe not as high as Tesla Gigafactory 1. It might be number two in the U.S.

"The facility, expected to be located in the Lordstown area, will see investment of more than $2 billion with GM and LG Chem expected to invest more than $1 billion each, one of the sources said. The venture is likely to be signed on Thursday, the sources said."

The production might start from 2022 to support the upcoming GM expansion into the all-electric vehicle segment.

LG Chem already operates one lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. (in Michigan), which is supplying various OEMs.

Source: Reuters

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