GM announces partnership with lithium metal battery startup

A GM employee poses with an example of the company's next-generation lithium metal batteries
A GM worker poses with an example of the firm’s upcoming-era lithium metal batteries at GM Chemical and Materials Techniques Lab in Warren, Michigan, U.S. September 9, 2020. Steve Fecht/Basic Motors/Handout by way of REUTERS.

March 12, 2021

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) – Typical Motors Co on Thursday announced a partnership with a lithium metal battery startup to increase the U.S. automaker’s battery progress, making it possible for for increased electric powered auto driving assortment in a more compact package deal.

The joint growth arrangement with SolidEnergy Alternatives (SES) of Woburn, Massachusetts, will let GM to minimize weight from the auto, a critical purpose for automakers as they push to roll out electric powered cars. GM has explained by mid-decade its Ultium battery packs are projected to price tag 60% less than today’s packs with 2 times the electrical power density.

The companies prepare to create a producing line at SES to assemble a prototype battery by 2023, explained GM, which invested an undisclosed volume in SES in 2015. Phrases of the partnership announced Thursday had been not disclosed.

Battery cells that use lithium steel in area of standard graphite have the possible to retail store a lot more electrical power, and as a result provide far more driving range in potential electric powered automobiles (EVs), or very similar assortment in a a great deal scaled-down and lighter battery pack.

GM executives said the technological innovation remaining designed with SES will be utilized in upcoming Ultium-based mostly motor vehicles, the 1st of which go on sale this slide with the start of the GMC Hummer electric pickup truck.

“This is a great prospect for us to find larger strength in a smaller bundle that will absolutely free up the space inside the automobile for other technologies,” Kent Helfrich, government director of GM’s international electrification and battery techniques, mentioned in an job interview.

Previous year, GM released Ultium as a crucial pillar in its force to reduce battery expenses and increase electric powered driving vary. GM is building a $2.3 billion joint-undertaking Ultium battery plant in Ohio with LG Strength Option, a device of LG Chem, and the firms be expecting to insert a next manufacturing facility, perhaps in Tennessee.

The Detroit automaker stated in January it was targeting ending the sale of light-obligation cars powered by gasoline and diesel by 2035.

GM mentioned last year it was investing $27 billion on electric powered and self-driving automobiles and designs to start 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025.

The preliminary prototype batteries have done 150,000 simulated examination miles at GM’s complex center in Warren, Michigan, the automaker reported. Other buyers in SES consist of Chinese automaker and GM spouse SAIC Motor, South Korean battery maker SK Innovation and chip tooling maker Used Elements.

The deal is not unique and SES can work with other automakers, Helfrich reported.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit Modifying by Nick Zieminski)