GM Expands Ultium Battery Plants and Eco-Friendly Lithium Extraction

General Motors has made it very clear they intend to be a major player in the world of electric vehicles, committing to $35 billion in electric investments and the creation of 30 new EVs globally by 2025. To do this, they’re going to need a lot of capacity and materials. That’s why GM has recently announced a large expansion of battery plants for their Ultium electric vehicle platform, as well as investments in environmentally-friendly resource extraction methods.

In partnership with LG Chem, GM has already commenced work on two new battery plants in North America. The first is in Lordstown, Ohio, with a second facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The cost to open a single battery plant is approximately $2.3 billion. Once opened, these new facilities will create battery cells that can then be sent to GM’s electric vehicle manufacturing plants in Michigan, Tennessee, and Ontario.

Better yet, this is likely not the end of GM’s investment in battery manufacturing plants. GM President Mark Reuss has indicated there will be further announcements in the near future. LG Chem President Kim Jong-Hyeon expressed optimism regarding the partnership, stating that working with GM “will allow us to build solid and stable U.S-based supply chains that enable everything from research, product development and production to the procurement of raw components”.

On the topic of raw components, another important part of GM’s EV plan is to move towards local and sustainable extraction of lithium, a key part of Ultium batteries. In partnership with California’s Controlled Thermal Resources, GM will source lithium from within North America in a direct extraction process that requires less land, no production tailing, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

This new lithium strategy is said to be considerably more eco-friendly than traditional lithium mining via evaporation ponds or pit mines. GM’s Supply Chain VP Doug Parks explained that “by securing and localizing the lithium supply chain in the U.S., we’re helping ensure our ability to make powerful, affordable, high mileage EVs while also helping to mitigate environmental impact and bring more low-cost lithium to the market as a whole.”

Want to learn more about GM’s electric offerings? Talk to a Preston Sales Consultant and we’ll be happy to help! With new arrivals like the Bolt EUV and Hummer EV coming soon, it’s an exciting time for GM and their electric offerings.