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LG Chem and GM to invest $2+B for Ohio battery factory, Cadillac EV on tap

In July it was announced that LG Chem was working on a potential new billion-dollar US battery cell factory for electric cars. Today in a security filing in South Korea, LG Chem confirmed that investment, and that GM will invest another billion.

Reuters reports that the location is expected to be in the area of Lordstown, Ohio, where GM (pictured in Detroit) recently sold its factory to an EV startup affiliated with Workhorse. This follows news earlier this week that Piedmont Lithium received an important federal permit to proceed with its lithium mine in Gaston County, North Carolina — the second in North America. Looks like Interstate 77 will be America’s hot new lithium corridor.

Reuters cites sources saying workers at the new LG-GM joint venture will be represented by the UAW. In September, GM had told the UAW it would allocate battery cell manufacturing to the Lordstown area, with the electric pickup going to Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. This is a big win for the union, which has been mired in corruption difficulties as of late. US Attorney Matthew Schneider said federal oversight of the union is a possibility.

A source also tells Reuters that the modular batteries from the factory will be used for multiple GM vehicles, including a future Cadillac EV.

GM has said publicly that its next gen EV will be a Cadillac based on its “BEV3” platform and showed off the teaser below. We are on a call with GM at 9am ET and expect there to be more news announced then.

Electrek’s Take

When this news surfaced in July, we estimated that a $2 billion plant should easily result in over 10 GWh of battery cell production, a significant addition to American production capacity. We haven’t been impressed with GM President Mark Reuss’ “can’t do” attitude on EVs and a more recent op-ed extolling Americans to hold off buying an EV. Hopefully there are others at GM who will make the most of this partnership with LG Chem.

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