Four months after ceremoniously raising the first beam of steel on its new battery plant, partners Stellantis and Samsung SDI have announced plans to build a second sprawling facility. As with the first, it will be located in the United States. Exactly where is still a mystery, but when the location is sussed out, production won't begin until 2027.
The companies have officially signed a memorandum of understanding on the plant, pledging to build it as part of the StarPlus Energy joint venture. To refresh your memory, that's the $2.5-billion initiative announced by the partners in May 2022 to manufacture lithium-ion batteries at a new plant in Kokomo, Indiana. The second plant will target an annual production capacity of 34 gigawatt-hours (GWh), slightly more than the Kokomo facility which initially was slated for 23 GWh but has since been bumped to 33 GWh.
Gallery: Stellantis and Samsung SDI's Kokomo Gigafactory Marks Construction Milestone
It's worth noting that a memorandum of understanding leaves considerable room for adjustment. As such, there are very few details available and the bits we do know aren't necessarily set in stone. It's also unclear how much this new plant will cost, but as a reminder, the current project comes with a $2.5 billion price tag.
Stellantis is one of many brands currently investing heavily in EV battery production for North America. This is, of course, a key component in the conglomerate's Dare Forward 2030 electrification plan. If everything pans out, half of new Stellantis-family vehicles sold in North America will be electric, and that's fully electric versus plug-in hybrids. In Europe, that total will reach 100 percent and to get there, Stellantis says it will need 400 GWh of battery capacity.
"This new facility will contribute to reaching our aggressive target to offer at least 25 new battery electric vehicles for the North American market by the end of the decade," said Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. "We are continuing to add more capacity in the United States together with our great partner Samsung SDI and laying the next steps to reaching our carbon neutrality commitment by 2038."
In the near term, Stellantis and Samsung SDI plan to have the Kokomo plant up and running in early 2025. Further north, Stellantis is working with LG on a larger 45 GWh factory that could begin operation in the first quarter of 2024.