We start off with the joint production plant of GM/LG Energy Solutions opening up for production of Ultium Cells in this 2.8 million-square-foot site. This site was planned for production to begin by late 2022.
May 2020, ground was broken, steel construction begun and by February 2021 the steel was topped out.
Officially prototype battery cells were started in February 2022, but as of September 6th, 2022, the plant had an official ceremony with state, county and city officials along with GM and LG at this site along Route 45 in Lordstown. This site has 800 employees and is expected to grow to 1,100 by late 2023 when in full production mode as this plant will supply the battery packs for the Hummer EVs, Chevrolet Silverado EV Pickups and the Cadillac LYRIQ electric SUV line.
GM is on track to move to a full EV portfolio by 2035, a mere 12 years away. Demand for workers will continue to grow in this region as GM will be expanding as they have Ultium Plants 2 & 3 under construction. As of this morning September 12, 2022, Ultium Cells LLC has confirmed they are developing the business case to build a 4th plant a mere 15 miles away in New Carlisle, Indiana. This process is currently moving forward with the local officials and GM with all approvals on track for later this month as GM/LG secure a tax abatement. This will be the 4th $2 Billion-dollar Ultium Cells production site.
This 4th production site will add to the current 3 sites that has GM on track to produce 1 million plus EVs in North America by the end of 2025. This is all part of the GM plan for a carbon neutral auto company by 2045 under the direction of CEO Mary Barra.
Keep in mind that competition for workers will be strong in this area as Honda and LG Energy Solutions has announced their first battery production site in Mahoning Valley, Ohio.
GM's first Ultium production site will produce 35+ GWh a year by the end of 2023, producing millions of Nickel Cobalt Manganese Aluminum (NCMA) large-format, pouch-style cells per year. This site is the equivalent size of 30 football fields. GM has stated that every plant has room to expand production by double if not triple the current planned output.
All total you have the following joint battery cell production sites:
Plant 1: Warren, Ohio Ultium Cell site
Battery Pouch Official Production started September 2022
- Prototype production since February 2022
- 2.8 million sq-ft
- 1,100 employees estimated
- 35+ GWh production, capable of expanding
- Cost $2 billion
- Battery Pouch Official Production started September 2022
Plant 2: Spring Hill, Tennessee Ultium Cell Site
Battery Pouch Production to begin by late 2023
- Final beam installation happened August 2022
- 2.8 million sq-ft
- Estimated 1,300 employees when in production
- 40+ GWh production, capable of expanding
- Cost $2.3 Billion
- Battery Pouch Production to begin by late 2023
Plant 3: Lansing, Michigan Ultium Cell Site
Battery Pouch Production to begin by 2024
- Steel topping out estimated spring 2023
- Plant has been announced to produce battery cells for all Chevrolet and GMC EV truck production.
- 2.8 million sq-ft
- 1,700 employees estimated
- 50+ GWh battery pouch production, capable of expanding
- Cost $2.7 Billion
- Battery Pouch Production to begin by 2024
Plant 4: New Carlisle, Indiana Ultium Cell Site
- Battery Pouch Production start N/A
- 2.8 million sq-ft
- Employee Estimated N/A
- 50+ GWh battery pouch production, capable of expanding, GM/LG will not confirm or deny this size at this time
- Estimated Cost $2 Billion
All total, GM has a confirmed 125+ GWh battery pouch production of cells for their EV portfolio either online now or coming online by 2024.
Tesla being the king currently in EV production needs to be watching over their shoulder as current production of EVs globally has Tesla at 20 GWh of cell production, though their CEO has stated they are producing much more than that as they continue to ramp up Germany, China and the California and Texas production sites. Keep one thing in mind, as Tesla does produce 35 GWh of cells in Nevada, only 1/3 is used in auto production and the rest based on reports goes to residential and commercial power walls and their solar roof with storage solutions.
Big challenge for everyone is the critical raw materials for these battery cells be they pouch design or hard circular battery shape.
GM's Electric Vehicle portfolio as of today pretty much has amounted to the BOLT, BOLT EUV, Hummer EV Truck and Cadillac LYRIQ. Yet there are plenty more coming and these will not be six figures as most companies are selling right now for an EV.
Just recently revealed was the Chevrolet Equinox EV. This is their starting point for today as a compact 1LT EV, this Equinox will start at $30,000 according to GM in a front-wheel-drive (FWD) format. Though Chevrolet is allowing folks to build to order in ways that were last seen 40 plus years ago in regard to the fact that while a 1LT is the entry point in FWD, you can add a bigger battery pack or AWD to this auto beside an Alacarte assortment of options.
Trim on the Chevrolet Equinox EV is as follows:
To quote their press release:
A standard front-wheel-drive system with GM estimated 210 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of torque offers quick acceleration and a fun driving experience for everyday tasks, with a 290-horsepower and 346 lb-ft torque eAWD system available.
One-Pedal Driving5 is standard and allows the Equinox EV to accelerate and slow to a full stop, using only the accelerator. It’s paired with regenerative braking6, which can convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle’s forward momentum into electricity that’s stored in the battery pack to maximize the driving range.
The Equinox EV also packs the latest in charging technology:
- Standard 11.5 kW Level 2 (AC) charging, which can add up to 34 miles of range per hour of charging, per GM estimates
- 19.2 kW Level 2 (AC) charging is available on 3RS eAWD, which can add up to 51 miles of range per hour of charging, per GM estimates
- Standard DC fast-charging capability of up to 150 kW, which enables approximately 70 miles of range to be added in 10 minutes, per GM estimates
GM covers the Equinox EV’s battery with an 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty, in addition to the vehicle’s standard bumper-to-bumper coverage for added peace of mind.
Chevrolet is also offering the following standard safety features:
- Chevy Safety Assist, which includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning and IntelliBeam automatic high beams
- Rear Park Assist
- Reverse Automatic Braking
- Safety Alert Seat
- Rear Cross Traffic Braking
- Blind Zone Steering Assist
Available safety options are Adaptive Cruise Control, HD Surround Vision, Heads-Up Display, Rear Camera Mirror and Super Cruise.
Here is one way a 3LT could look:
You then move to top line trim in the 3RS:
Here is the complete list released by trim level for the Chevrolet Equinox:
Select Content Details
Chevrolet Equinox EV 3RS
While we have the two sub-Compacts BOLT and BOLT EUV, we cannot forget that Chevrolet has already announced their mid size EV, the Chevrolet Blazer. Full details can be seen here:
Then we have the full-size Chevrolet Silverado EV truck:
Course one could not forget that we have the Hummer by GMC.
1,000 HP and 11,500 lb-ft of torque
We then have the luxury segment where Cadillac has their first EV to start the transition over the next few years to a complete EV portfolio.
Welcome the Cadillac LYRIQ:
It would seem that based on the current level of change that GM is sitting well in the game to change to a green portfolio of electric vehicles. The next couple of years as more and more models come out will show options that others probably have not thought about.
Yes, for some the charging network is still not vast depending on where one lives, yet it is growing monthly with investments from the government, auto companies and private charging companies that are stepping up their game.
One area that we have not touched on is Charging. Many say it is way to bothersome to go electric when you have to sit for so long to get recharged. Others say it is like using your cell phone, you come home and plug it into a 220V wall charger and have a full battery pack in the morning. The counter point here is that some say not everyone will pay to have a 220V 50 amp wall charger installed at their home. The idea has always been charging as fast as gas.
It would seem the brains at Idaho National Laboratory presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2022 meeting claims they could significantly increase the amount of power is pushed into a battery cell.
The end result was tailored made methods of charging one's battery pack to full in 10 minutes or less without battery damage or shorter life. The ultimate goal is for the electric vehicle to tell the charging station how to power up their specific batteries quickly and safely.