Ultium Cells, the battery joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, has started production at its first plant located in Warren, Ohio.
According to the company, the early phase production began in May, while now it's more of a series production and ramp-up towards the target 40+ GWh of lithium-ion cells annually.
Before Ultium Cells reaches volume production, LG Energy Solution is supplying cells for Ultium-based vehicles from other plants.
Already more than 800 people found new high-tech jobs at the facility, while at full production, the number is expected to reach about 1,300. Currently, employees are focused on training and the ramp-up phase.
GM and LGES are investing $2.3 billion in the plant, which will produce high-energy dense lithium-ion cells, utilizing Nickel Cobalt Manganese Aluminum (NCMA) battery chemistry and long pouch form factor.
The gigafactory in Ohio is the first out of four planned. The two others - in Tennessee and in Michigan - are already under construction and expected to start production respectively in late 2023 and in Q3 2024.
The fourth Ultium Cells plant potentially might be built in Indiana. The general rule is to place a new battery factory in close proximity to electric vehicle plants, to simplify logistics issues.
Ultium Cells LLC - Warren, Ohio plant in brief:
- General Motors and LG Energy Solution joint venture (50/50)
- manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles
- $2.3 billion investment and more than 1,300 new jobs
- 2.8-million-square-foot plant located in Lordstown, Ohio
- target manufacturing capacity of 40 GWh annually (with an option for further expansion)
(up from 35+ GWh announced initially)
- cell type: large-format, pouch-style cells
- Nickel Cobalt Manganese Aluminum (NCMA) chemistry "reducing cobalt content by more than 70 percent"
- groundbreaking in May 2020 (the plant as of December 2021)
- production start: August 2022 as planned