GM Announces Partnership With Lithium Metal Battery Startup SolidEnergy Solutions: Report

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  • The companies plan to build a manufacturing line at SES to assemble a prototype battery by 2023, said GM
  • The joint development agreement will allow GM to cut weight from the vehicle, a key goal for automakers as they push to roll out electric vehicles
partnership
Pic Source – Wallpaper Flare

As per a report by Reuters, General Motors Co announced a partnership with a lithium metal battery startup SolidEnergy Solutions (SES) of Woburn, Massachusetts to boost the U.S. automaker’s battery development, allowing for higher electric vehicle driving range in a smaller package. The report added that the the joint development agreement will allow GM to cut weight from the vehicle, a key goal for automakers as they push to roll out electric vehicles. GM has said by mid-decade its Ultium battery packs are projected to cost 60 per cent less than today’s packs with twice the energy density.

The report added that the companies plan to build a manufacturing line at SES to assemble a prototype battery by 2023, said GM. It had invested an undisclosed amount in SES in 2015. Terms of the partnership announced Thursday were not disclosed. Battery cells that use lithium metal in place of conventional graphite have the potential to store more energy. They can provide more driving range in future electric vehicles (EVs), or similar range in a much smaller and lighter battery pack, said the report.

Used in future Ultium-based vehicles

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The report added that GM executives said the technology being developed with SES will be used in future Ultium-based vehicles. The first of these will go on sale this fall with the launch of the GMC Hummer electric pickup truck.

Kent Helfrich, executive director of GM’s global electrification and battery systems, said in an interview that it is a great opportunity to find greater energy in a smaller package that will free up the space inside the vehicle for other technology.

GM is building a $2.3 billion joint-venture Ultium battery plant in Ohio with LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Chem. They expect to add a second factory, possibly in Tennessee. GM said last year it was investing $27 billion on electric and self-driving vehicles and plans to launch 30 EVs globally by the end of 2025.

The initial prototype batteries have completed 150,000 simulated test miles at GM’s technical center in Warren, Michigan, the automaker said. Other investors in SES include Chinese automaker and GM partner SAIC Motor, South Korean battery maker SK Innovation and chip tooling maker Applied Materials. The deal is not exclusive and SES can work with other automakers, Helfrich said as per the report.

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