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GM, LG Chem Form $2.3B Electric-Vehicle-Battery Venture in Ohio

The venture, expected to create more than 1,100 jobs, is designed to speed GM's introduction of new electric vehicles
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General Motors GM is teaming with LG Chem to produce electric-vehicle batteries, a joint venture in which the companies are prepared to invest as much as $2.3 billion.

The venture will establish a battery-cell-assembly plant on a site near Lordstown, Ohio, a move expected to create more than 1,100 new jobs. 

The venture aims to develop and produce advanced battery technologies and reduce battery costs to “industry-leading levels,” the companies said. 

GM CEO Mary Barra was quoted by Reuters as saying that the plant will accelerate the company’s plan to introduce 20 new electric vehicles globally by 2023. 

These models include a battery-powered truck GM plans to introduce in fall 2021, the companies said.

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"With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions," Barra said in a statement. 

“Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem's leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that car companies have contracted with companies like LG Chem for the lithium-ion cells that go into the battery packs used in electric vehicles. 

Construction of the plant is set to begin in mid-2020. Once completed, it will have an annual capacity of more than 30 gigawatt hours with the capacity to expand.

The Journal also reported that the new GM-LG factory will be built near Lordstown in northeast Ohio. GM last spring closed a vehicle-assembly plant in that area. A startup company, Lordstown Motors, acquired that plant and plans to make electric trucks there, the paper reported.

The investment builds on the $28 million investment that GM made into its Warren, Mich., battery lab and the $700 million manufacturing investment pledge in Ohio that the company made earlier this year as part of its negotiations with the United Auto Workers union during a strike, GM said.