GM opens battery cell development center in Michigan, aims to hammer down cost of batteries by 60%

In a statement General Motors Co said, it will open a battery cell development center in Michigan in an effort to bring down the cost of lithium ion and solid state batteries and boost the driving range of electric vehicles.

The Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center, which will be located on the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s technical campus in Warren, Michigan, is scheduled to open sometime in mid-2022 with production of prototype cells in the fourth quarter of the same year, said GM.

“The key to making these vehicles affordable is going to be the cell cost in the battery packs,” said Ken Morris, GM’s vice president of electric and self-driving vehicles. He went on to add, GM will spend “hundreds of millions” of dollars on the new center.

On Wednesday GM said, it will spend $35 billion through 2025 on EVs and autonomous vehicles. The carmaker is also expected to outline targets beyond that period at its investor day later today.

As part of this push, GM’s has partnered with LG Energy Solutions, to develop its Ultium batteries; while both companies have announced two joint-ventures battery plants GM said it intends to open two more.

By 2035, GM aims to eliminate emissions from its portfolio of light vehicles. A key component in making EVs more attractive to consumers is bringing down their costs and a major portion of that are batteries. GM is trying to bring down the cost of its Ultium batteries by at least 60% and said, future models will have a driving ranges of 600 miles (965 km) on a single charge.

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