Tuesday marked the beginning of steel construction at the all-new Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown. Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture that will mass-produce Ultium battery cells for electric vehicles (earlier post) and create more than 1,100 new jobs in Northeast Ohio.
Since May 2020, ground has been broken and concrete footings have been poured at the facility. Steel construction at Ultium Cells LLC will continue into fall 2020.
We are excited about the progress that our team has made, and we look forward to the finished product—a nearly 3 million-square-foot plant. Our joint venture with LG Chem will allow us to produce advanced battery cells in Lordstown, with the goal of reducing battery costs to accelerate EV adoption and ultimately benefit customers.—Ken Morris, vice president of Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs
Despite the pandemic, product development work on GM’s future EV and AV portfolios continues to progress at a rapid pace. Next Thursday, 6 August, Cadillac with unveil the LYRIQ show car. Production timing remains on track for the LYRIQ and GMC HUMMER EV, both of which will be powered by the Ultium battery system.
The HUMMER EV will be revealed this fall, with production beginning in fall 2021. (Earlier post.)
The Ultium batteries, revealed earlier this year, are novel because the large-format, pouch-style cells can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. This allows engineers to optimize battery energy storage and layout for each vehicle design.
Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications.
Ultium-powered EVs are designed for Level 2 and DC fast charging. Most will have 400-volt battery packs and up to 200 kW fast-charging capability while the truck platform will have 800-volt battery packs and 350 kW fast-charging capability.
The cells use a proprietary low-cobalt chemistry; ongoing technological and manufacturing breakthroughs will drive costs even lower. The joint venture’s goal is cell costs below $100/kWh.