General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) announced on Monday its plans to build a new facility in Bécancour, Quebec, tied to its North America-focused electric vehicle battery supply chain. The facility, as part of the automaker’s joint venture with Canadian materials firm POSCO Chemical, is said to be worth US$400 million.
The Quebec facility is expected to produce cathode active material for GM’s proprietary Ultium batteries that will power the carmaker’s own suite of electric vehicles. Released in March 2020, the Ultium battery “could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge”.
“Canada is playing an important role in our all-electric future, and we are grateful for the strong support we have received from local, provincial and national officials to grow a North American-focused EV value chain,” said GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks.
The American automotive giant, through its Canadian counterparts, has been working with the Canadian and Quebec governments on the prospect of the facility. GM Canada President Scott Bell said that this is in line with “building the emerging ‘mines to mobility’ EV battery ecosystem in North America”.
Bell also said that the facility coincides with the plan to launch Canada’s “first full EV manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario later this year”.
In January 2022, GM pledged to invest around US$7 billion in its electric vehicle manufacturing, with US$2.6 billion earmarked for a joint venture with LG Energy Solution towards building a new battery plant in Lansing, Michigan to supply its Orion assembly plant.
The Quebec facility seems to be a step to ramp up the automaker’s electric vehicle battery game as it attempts to rival Tesla. By 2025, the firm plans to have a capacity to build 1 million electric vehicles in North America, with the supply chain operating all within the continent.
But beyond powering the electric vehicles, GM also announced today with Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE: PCG) the joint venture’s vehicle-to-home technology. In a CNBC interview, GM CEO Mary Barra explained that the battery’s “bidrectional” charging capacity will enable the electric vehicle to be a backup power source for homes.
“This is really significant because it is another benefit of owning an electric vehicle,” Barra said.
The new battery technology is set to be piloted this summer.
General Motors Company last traded at US$39.83 on the NYSE.
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