GM: Ultium battery production begins next month in Lordstown
General Motors announced on Tuesday that battery production will begin in August at Ultium Cells LLC in Lordstown, Ohio.
The information came as part of a letter to shareholders from GM CEO and Chair Mary Barra under a summary of “What’s to Come”.
During a webcast for investors on Tuesday, Barra said GM is just weeks away from seven-day operations at the first Ultium Cells joint venture plant in Lordstown.
Barra said that each quarter the Lordstown plant will add 20% to its capacity, with plans to reach the full 35 gigawatt per hour capacity in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“Securing cells from this plant are key to significantly ramping up production of the GMC Hummer EV and the Cadillac Lyriq to beat pent-up demand,” said Barra.
A second cell plant under construction in Tennessee is on track to open next year, according to Barra.
The foundation work is underway and steel work is slated to begin in August at the site of a third cell plant in Lansing, Michigan scheduled to open in 2024.
Barra also said good progress is being towards selecting the site for the fourth U.S. cell, which will take the projected total battery capacity to 160 gigawatts.
Barra’s letter was published as GM reported second-quarter net income falling 40% from a year ago, which was largely blamed on computer chip and parts shortages which curtailed production and reduced sales by more than 15%.
The report came one day after the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office announced a conditional commitment to Ultium Cells for a $2.5 billion loan to help finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
The three facilities are expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 5,100 operations jobs when they are at full capacity.
The conditional commitment is being offered through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which provides loans to support U.S. manufacturing of light-duty vehicles, qualifying components, and materials that improve fuel economy.
This would be LPO's first loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project under ATVM.
By manufacturing Li-ion battery cells for EV battery packs in the United States, Ultium Cells will supply GM as it plans to eliminate 100% of tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty vehicles by 2035.
GM plans to install the capacity to build one million EVs in North America by the end of 2025.
The construction of these three plants also supports GM's plan to make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040.
While this conditional commitment demonstrates the Department's intent to finance the project, several steps remain, and certain conditions must be satisfied before the Department issues a final loan.