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General Motors explores second US battery-production site

The automaker confirms it's looking into a second site beyond its upcoming facility in Ohio.

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GM-LG Ohio battery plant construction

Construction is ongoing for the Ohio plant, which will be called Ultium.

General Motors

Hot on the heels of calls to expand the US supply chain's essential technology components, General Motors said on Thursday it's exploring the possibility of a second battery production site in the country. The possible second facility would come after construction of its first facility in Lordstown, Ohio, a site it will operate with partner LG Chem.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on GM looking into a second facility. The automaker is interested in a site in Tennessee, sources familiar with the plans told the newspaper. While a GM spokesperson confirmed to Roadshow the automaker's interest in a second site, they did not speak to any potential location for the facility. The second site would also be a venture with Korea's LG.

GM and LG's first plant in Ohio is set to open next year with enough capacity to build hundreds of thousands of batteries per year. The automaker is keen to quickly capitalize on a shift to electric vehicles and said it aspires to only sell zero-emissions, light-duty vehicles by 2035. That includes light-duty pickup trucks. The Ohio plant may be a down payment on this future, in which the automaker has invested $2.3 billion. According to the Journal's sources, the rumored Tennessee plant may turn into a similarly sized investment. GM already operates an expansive operation in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which builds a number of SUVs.

Amid a semiconductor chip crunch, GM and numerous other automakers have idled production of vehicles without the crucial components. That led the Biden administration to order a short- and long-term review of the US' supply chain vulnerabilities to prevent a crisis of this sort from happening in the future. The review, notably, aims to boost US battery production and possibly tap into the country's lithium reserves to boost US competitiveness when it comes to not just build electric cars, but also mining and manufacturing essential components, such as batteries themselves.

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