GM Builds Two More Ultium Battery Plants, EV/AV Investments Rise to $35 Billion

The Ultium Battery Manufacturing Facility in Ohio began construction in July 2020. 1 photo
Photo: Roger Mastroianni for General Motors
GM looks unstoppable on its way to becoming a leader in EVs, battery and fuel cell technology, and self-driving technology. It’s certainly one of the most ambitious and complex plans in the industry, and the American carmaker’s recent huge investment boost proves that it’s fully committed.
It was only a few years ago that GM announced its intention to invest in electric (EV) and autonomous vehicles (AV) development. Now, the company is talking about a massive 75% increase from the initial planned investment, adding up to a total of $35 billion from 2020, when it began, through 2025. So, where exactly are these funds being distributed? First of all, GM is definitely on a roll when it comes to developing Ultium battery cell production in the U.S.

Only a couple of months ago, the company announced that the construction of a second plant was about to start, in Tennessee, the first one being in Ohio. While these 2 are currently being built, GM just dropped the news that 2 more battery cell manufacturing plants will be added in the following years. This goes to show that the American vehicle manufacturer is literally putting their money on the Ultium battery, a technology that’s new on the horizon and that was developed together with LG Chem.

The other thing that GM is betting on is the Hydrotec fuel cell technology. If the Ultium battery is GM’s ticket to conquering the EV world, Hydrotec opens the doors to many other automotive projects. The world’s first battery-powered locomotive (in collaboration with Wabtec), hydrogen-powered heavy trucks (together with Navistar), hydrogen-powered auxiliary power units for jets (together with Liebherr-Aerospace) and even next-generation lunar vehicles (with Lockheed Martin) – are just the beginning.

As far as AV goes, GM’s subsidiary, Cruise, is now the first company to provide driverless AV passenger services to the public in California, it also operates in Dubai and will soon start testing in Japan. GM is also set to begin building the Cruise Origin at its ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, next year. And, of course, EV production is also at the forefront. Besides 30 new EVs to be available globally by 2025, GM also intends to add new electric trucks and to increase assembly capacity for EV SUVs in the U.S.

We’ll find out more about that later on, as the company releases new information.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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