LG Energy Solution (LGES) said the second battery plant of its Ultium Cells joint venture with General Motors (GM) had begun mass production.

The US$2bn factory, in Spring Hill, Tennessee (once home to GM’s first Saturn assembly plant), has shipped its first batch of batteries to GM for the Cadillac Lyriq battery electric vehicle (BEV).

The plant has capacity for 35 gigawatt hours (GWh) of batteries per year and features smart highly automated manufacturing and quality control processes to maximise efficiency, according to the company.

LGES said it planned to gradually ramp up the JV’s output to 50GWh per year, enough to power 600,000 BEVs.

Kim Young-duk, executive in charge of the second plant, said the facility “will grow into a core base for the North American electric vehicle market along with the first and third factories”.

Ultium Cells’ first plant in Ohio, also with capacity of 35 GWh, began production in November 2022. The JV is investing US$2.6bn in a third plant in Michigan with capacity of 50 GWh, scheduled to start output in 2025.

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LGES also has battery plants under construction in the US in JVs with Hyundai, Honda and Stellantis, plus wholly owned factories. The company is expanding its own existing 5GWh facility in Michigan to 25GWh and plans another $5.3bn stand alone plant in Arizona.