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GM to announce location of second battery factory

LORDSTOWN — General Motors and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution today are expected to announce the location of the partnership’s second electric vehicle battery-cell factory — and it appears the companies won’t be expanding one already being built here.

The announcement is planned for Nashville, Tenn., signaling the likelihood and confirming previous speculation the new factory will be in the Volunteer State, where GM already has a complex in nearby Spring Hill.

The Spring Hill factory is one of three the automaker has designated to build electric vehicles.

An alert on GM’s website states CEO Mary Barra with top officials from GM and LG Energy Solution will join Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to make a “major U.S. manufacturing-related” announcement at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.

In Lordstown, GM and LG Energy Solution are building the first battery-cell plant, Ultium Cells, a $2.3 billion venture to mass produce cells for GM’s Ultium platform, which the automaker will use to power several models, including the

Ultium Cells will supply battery cells for several GM electric vehicle models, including the GMC Hummer, Cadillac Lyriq, Cruise Origin, GM’s electric driverless vehicle, and the recently announced electric Chevolet Silverado truck.

The factory will employ about 1,100 people at full production. Early phase production is expected to begin in early 2022.

It’s being constructed on 158 acres on Tod Avenue SW that General Motors purchased in March 2020 adjacent to the automaker’s former assembly plant.

In November, Ultium Cells acquired another nearby 144.2 acres — 45.6 acres on Hallock Young Road and 98.6 acres on Tod Avenue SW — GM said was purchased to support utility placement for the facility. A spokesman with the company then tamped down speculation of plant expansion as did plant Director Tom Gallagher in February.

“Opportunities to grow are not what we are currently working on or focused on,” he said at an event at the construction site. “It’s delivering what we can here on time at the budgeted cost at the quality level we need to be successful.”

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