GM GigaPower Battery Factory ‘Sees The Light Of The Day’

In Electric Mobility, Clean Talk, News, Products

Work begins on 158 acres General Motors (GM) GigaPower Factory in Mecca Township, Ohio, northwest of Youngstown. The factory is a joint venture with LG Chem and is located next door to the former Lordstown factory sold last year to Lordstown Motors, which intends to build electric pickup trucks there.

The land was previously owned by GM, which was sold in 2009 during the last Great Depression before buying it back prior to the current Great Depression.

GM expects the factory to be operational by January of 2022 and to employ 1,100 workers. When completed, it will be able to produce 30 GWh of battery cells annually — enough for 500,000 cars, according to an LG Chem press release.

Presumably, the GigaPower factory will manufacture the Ultium battery cells GM unveiled recently, saying they represented a breakthrough in battery technology. The crown jewel of the Ultium system is the battery cell itself. The new cell has 60% more energy capacity than what’s been used in the Bolt EV.

The strategy is to move forward with the fewest number of the largest cells possible.

It’s the equivalent of more than 20 small cylindrical cans. There are about 20 layers in the cell. So each layer is the equivalent of about one small cylindrical can cell. It’s really a smart move to take all of those layers, and put them inside a single pouch that’s a simple, low-cost, lightweight cell solution.

And those cells will also be used to power two battery electric cars that will be badged as Hondas, even though they will built on a GM chassis at a GM factory. Honda will have complete control over the stitching on the passenger seats, however.

The factory will actually be owned by the Western Reserve Port Authority, which will lease it to GigaPower LLC for a period of 5 years. Using the WRPA conduit will save the partners several million dollars in sales taxes on construction materials.

When complete, the factory will contain 3.1 million square feet of manufacturing space and cost $2.25 billion — $5 million for the land, $608 million for the building, and more than $1.6 billion for machinery and equipment.

The project received final approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency just last week.


Reference- Tribune Chronicle, LGChem Press Release, Clean Technica, GM Online Newsroom

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