Update: A representative from Ultium Cells LLC replied to our questions with the following comment:
"Ultium Cells – Spring Hill is on-track to start production on our first cell production line February 2024." The original article follows below.
General Motors, the maker of several battery-powered cars, will open its Ultium Cells plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee later than originally planned, the company said in its third-quarter earnings call earlier this week.
When it was first announced in 2021, the factory was said to become operational at the end of 2023 after a $2.3 billion investment from both General Motors and LG Chem’s LG Energy Solution as part of their 50/50 joint venture called Ultium Cells LLC, but now the manufacturing facility will go online sometime early 2024 due to construction delays.
“The Spring Hill plant will start early next year,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “There was a couple of weeks, it was supposed to originally start at the end of this year. There was a couple of weeks due to some construction delays but it now is on track, and it will ramp with all the benefit of the learnings,” she added on the call.
Gallery: Ultium Cells LLC Battery Plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee
We reached out to GM for a comment on when exactly the site is expected to become operational and will update this article when we get a reply.
Once completed, the Spring Hill Ultium Cells factory will provide batteries to the nearby Spring Hill assembly plant that’s responsible for building the Cadillac Lyriq EV, but until that happens, the packs will continue to be delivered from GM’s and LG’s other Ultium Cells plant in Warren, Ohio.
A total of three cell factories are planned in the United States under the Ultium Cells joint venture. The first one, located in Ohio, went online in 2022, while the other two – in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Lansing, Michigan – are still under construction. Additionally, the joint venture has an operational factory in Shanghai, China.
A fourth battery-making facility is slated to open in Indiana, where GM has partnered with Samsung SDI.
To make the Ultium Cells plants a reality, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) granted a $2.5 billion low-cost loan to the joint venture that will employ over 5,000 people once all three facilities are online, plus about 6,000 construction jobs during the building phase.
When it opens next year, the 2.8 million-square-foot Spring Hill Ultium Cells factory will create 1,300 new manufacturing jobs that will produce large-format, pouch-style cells that will power electric vehicles based on GM’s Ultium platform.