General Motors (GM) and Samsung SDI have announced their plans to build a new electric vehicle (EV) battery cell plant in Indiana, investing over $3 billion in the project. The plant is expected to commence operations in 2026 and is projected to create approximately 1,700 jobs, according to the state’s governor.
Back in April, both companies had revealed their intentions to invest over $3 billion in a joint venture EV battery manufacturing plant in the United States. However, they had not disclosed the specific location at the time.
Earlier this year, there were reports that GM had decided against constructing a fourth U.S. battery plant in Indiana with LG Energy Solution. Nevertheless, GM had still been considering Indiana as a potential site for a battery plant in collaboration with another partner.
The joint GM and Samsung SDI plant, which will be located near New Carlisle, Indiana, aims to achieve an annual production capacity of 30 gigawatt hours (GWh). The facility will specialize in the production of high-nickel prismatic and cylindrical battery cells.
Samsung SDI CEO Yoonho Choi expressed the company’s commitment to establishing a strong presence in Indiana alongside GM. He stated that Samsung SDI would supply products of the utmost safety and quality, contributing to the United States’ transition to an era dominated by electric vehicles.
To support the project, the U.S. Energy Department granted a $2.5 billion loan to the GM-LG Energy Ultium Cells LLC joint venture in late 2022. The companies are currently building a $2.6 billion plant in Michigan, scheduled to open its doors in 2024. They have already established a plant in Ohio and are in the process of constructing another facility in Tennessee.
GM has set ambitious targets for its EV production, aiming to manufacture 400,000 electric vehicles in North America between 2022 and mid-2024. Furthermore, the company plans to increase its capacity to 1 million units annually in North America by 2025. In order to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles, Reuters reported in April that GM is considering the construction of at least two additional EV plants on top of the initial four.
However, the GM LG Ohio joint venture faced criticism earlier this year from United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. They highlighted concerns over the comparatively lower wages received by workers at the joint venture, despite the substantial tax credits it receives from the U.S. government.
It is worth noting that the UAW has not yet endorsed President Joe Biden for a second term, citing apprehensions regarding EV policies. During a visit to Samsung in South Korea last year, President Biden encouraged companies to collaborate with American union members, emphasizing the importance of collective bargaining relationships with U.S. unions to strengthen joint ventures involved in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries.