Joint Battery Plant a Go for Down-on-its-luck Lordstown
A battery plant mentioned in General Motors’ recently ratified UAW labor contract will soon become a reality in the hard-hit city of Lordstown, Ohio. That locale recently saw the lights go out at GM’s Lordstown Assembly, which closed its doors this spring after the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Cruze. The plant’s now in the hands of a fledgling electric automaker.
On Wednesday, GM announced the spending of $2.3 billion and the creation of 1,100 jobs in Lordstown — a necessary move to supply the automaker with battery packs for its electric vehicle push.
In a joint statement, GM and battery maker LG Chem announced the creation of a new joint venture company and construction of a new facility capable of producing 30 gigawatt hours of battery capacity a year. The greenfield plant is said to be expandable, with cost-per-gigawatt targeted at industry-leading levels.
“The state-of-the art plant will use the most advanced manufacturing processes all under one roof to produce cells efficiently, with little waste, and will benefit from strong economies of scale throughout the value chain. The plant will be extremely flexible and able to adapt to ongoing advances in technology and materials,” the companies said in a statement.
“The collaboration also includes a joint development agreement that brings together two leaders in battery science to develop and produce advanced battery technologies, with the goal of reducing battery costs to industry-leading levels.”
Recipients of the battery cells produced at the facility include the upcoming midsize Cadillac EV crossover, as well as an electric pickup slated for production in Detroit in 2021. Other EV models, including a commercial van and Bolt-based Chevrolet crossover, will soon join the automaker’s product ranks.
Construction on the Lordstown facility is expected to commence in the middle of next year.
[Image: General Motors]
SPPPP on Dec 05, 2019
Hmm. A small startup electric truck maker now owns a 6.2-million-square-foot factory, which will sit mostly empty for years. Meanwhile, a large new plant is getting built at a greenfield site within miles of the old factory. This seems very wasteful. If I lived in Lordstown, I would be glad to see some jobs returning. But I would be very saddened, to see maybe 250 acres of woodland and farmland ruined forever, while a massive industrial park molders nearby.
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