GM plans to produce batteries for electric cars in Canada, General Motors (GM) is going to produce battery materials in Canada by the end of 2022, making it the first auto manufacturer to do so in North America, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The automaker said on Wednesday it planned to build a US$450 million lithium-ion battery factory near Detroit, which will supply its vehicles and potentially those of other automakers. With an advanced manufacturing facility like this, we’re demonstrating that we’re ready to lead when it comes to advanced technologies, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said at a media event outside Detroit. The plant is expected to have enough capacity initially to supply batteries for up 50,000 vehicles annually. They would be able to travel more than 200 miles (322 km) on a single charge, GM said. It has not disclosed how much each battery would cost or what it might charge for them.
GM was way ahead of other automakers when it came to bringing hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) to market. More than a decade ago, GM launched its first hybrid vehicle, which used a combination of an internal combustion engine and battery-powered motors. Today, there are dozens of hybrids on sale and several pure EVs; only GM does not manufacture them domestically. That will change next year when it begins making a battery cell that is key to EVs—it has agreed with Aluminum Limited (Alcan) of Sudbury, Ontario, on a $20 million deal (with options) that will see Alcan make cathode material using lithium produced by Cameco Corp., headquartered in Saskatoon.
While many people associate General Motors with gas-guzzling SUVs, trucks, and luxury vehicles, it actually makes a wide range of products. Its major moneymaker remains passenger cars, but its portfolio is more diverse than many people realize. In fact, GM actually makes battery materials for some of its top sellers. Through GM Electrochemical Systems, it produces lithium-ion polymer cells (or LIBs) that are used not only in Chevy’s high-end plug-in hybrid Volt and Volt replacement model—the Chevy Bolt EV—but also in Tesla’s Models S and X.