General Motors and Samsung SDI's joint venture battery factory will be built in Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb revealed on Tuesday.
The upcoming investment estimated at over $3 billion was announced in April, without providing details about the location at the time. Now, it's said that the 30-gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery factory will be built east of New Carlisle in northern Indiana, providing roughly 1,700 new jobs.
Construction of the factory is expected to begin next year, while series production should start in 2026.
One of the most interesting things about the new JV is that the factory is set to produce both prismatic and cylindrical batteries (both high-performing, nickel-rich chemistry).
Previously, GM launched three battery joint ventures with LG Energy Solution (Ultium Cells), which all were related to large-format, pouch-type cells. As far as we know, those three plants are expected to have a combined annual output of about 140 GWh (40 GWh in Ohio, 50 GWh in Tennessee, and 50 GWh in Michigan). Together with the fourth plant, built in partnership with Samsung SDI, the total might reach 160-170 GWh per year.
General Motors explains that its new Ultium platform "was strategically designed to accept multiple cell form factors and chemistries," so there should be no issue with switching between various cell types. As an example, the company shows the Cadillac Lyriq, equipped with pouch cells in North America, and prismatic cells in China.
General Motors Ultium platform
The joint battery project with Samsung SDI confirms the previous rumors that talks with LGES on a fourth Ultium Cells plant stalled (January 2023), that the company is considering cylindrical battery cells, and that Samsung SDI might be its new battery partner. To date, GM was focused almost entirely on its LG Chem/LG Energy Solution partnership.
Meanwhile, Samsung SDI recently started a battery joint venture project in Indiana with Stellantis (23 GWh, with an option for 33 GWh per year). The company supplies battery cells also to many other EV manufacturers, including 2170-type cylindrical cells to Rivian.
There is no confirmation of which size of cylindrical cells will be produced for GM - 2170-type or maybe some kind of larger cells like 46xx (a diameter of 46 mm), similar to the Tesla's 4680-type. Samsung SDI's 46xx type of battery is currently under development.
GM and Samsung SDI battery joint venture:
- General Motors and Samsung SDI joint venture
- investment: over $3 billion
- location: east of New Carlisle in northern Indiana
- manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles
- battery type: high-performing, nickel-rich (cathode) prismatic and cylindrical type
- manufacturing capacity: more than 30 GWh annually
- construction start (target): 2024
- production start (target): 2026
- jobs: 1,700