GM and Samsung partner to build a new $3 billion battery cell factory in the US

GM and Samsung SDI have announced that they are partnering to build a new $3 billion battery cell factory in the US to power GM’s electric vehicles.

It’s a change for GM, which has so far been mostly partnered with LG Energy for its battery cell supply.

For the last few years, GM has been heavily investing in battery manufacturing in the US in order to support its transition to electric vehicles.

It partnered with Korea’s LG to create Ultium Cells, a new joint venture to build battery cells in the US.

The partnership has already resulted in three battery factories in the US that are now in production or construction phases. There’s one in Ohio, one in Tennessee, and one in Michigan.

GM and LG have been working on a fourth US battery factory, but it was reported in January that the plan for a new battery plant in the US is on hold “indefinitely” after talks between GM and LG failed to move forward.

GM now partners with Samsung SDI

Now GM is announcing a partnership with Samsung SDI to build a new battery cell factory in the US:

General Motors Co. and Samsung SDI announced today they plan to invest more than $3 billion to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States that is targeted to begin operations in 2026.

In a press release, GM announced that the new factory will have a capacity of “more than 30 GWh” and it will bring GM’s total capacity in the US to about 160 GWh.

Interestingly, GM and Samsung are talking about building production lines to build both “nickel-rich prismatic and cylindrical cells.”

Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, commented:

We will continue to scale production and optimize the chemistry of our pouch cells for performance, range and cost using new approaches pioneered at GM’s Wallace Battery Center and by our technology partners. The introduction of new cell form factors will allow us to expand into even more segments more quickly and integrate cells directly into battery packs to reduce weight, complexity and costs. With multiple strong cell partners, we can scale our EV business faster than we could going it alone.

GM and Samsung SDI are not ready to disclose where in the US the new factory will be located.

Electrek’s Take

It’s an interesting development. GM seemed to have one of the strongest battery cell partnerships in the US with LG Energy through its Ultium Cells joint venture.

That partnership was certainly shaken by the Bolt EV battery recall, but it seemed to still be going strong. And it might still be going strong.

This might be just a smart move from GM to diversify its battery cell supply chain.