GM is likely to need far more battery capacity if it’s able to deliver on a goal of converting all of its new passenger vehicles from internal combustion engines to electricity by 2035.
LG Chem now has a battery cell plant in Holland, Michigan, that supplies power to the Chevrolet Bolt hatchback and the new Bolt electric SUV.
Industry analysts have said automakers face a global shortage of batteries as the industry moves away from gasoline-powered vehicles. Most of the world’s batteries are built in China and other countries.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that GM and LG Chem are pursuing a site in Tennessee to build a new battery plant.
GM’s venture is risky, at least based on U.S. electric vehicle sales. Last year, full-battery electric vehicles accounted for only 2% of the U.S. market of 14.6 million in new vehicle sales. But automakers are set to roll out 22 new electric models this year and are baking on wider consumer acceptance.
The consulting firm LMC Automotive predicts that U.S. battery-powered vehicle sales will hit more than 1 million per year starting in 2023, reaching over 4 million by 2030.