U.S. automaker General Motors and Korean chemical giant LG Chem will invest $2.3 billion by 2023 in a new joint venture to create battery cells for electric cars in Lordstown, Ohio.
Construction of the battery cell factory is expected to begin mid-2020 and will create 1,100 jobs, which GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra called a “significant investment.”
Barra told reporters Thursday, “General Motors believes in the science of global warming” and is, therefore, investing in creating high quality, reliable vehicles.
“What you’re hearing from GM is a commitment to electric vehicles ... to drive adoption,” she said.
GM is still on track to have 20 million electric cars on the road by 2023, Barra said, and the plant will “play a key role” in the company’s goal to move toward “a world with zero emissions.” The new plant will have an annual capacity of more than 30 gigawatt hours.
The new facility will be built in the Lordstown-area where GM closed a production plant in March. The closure marked a loss for President Trump, who had worked to keep the site open in an effort to support American manufacturing. It also created concerns about the communitiy’s economic future, which relied heavily on the plant for employment.
While Barra said Ohio had “earned [the project] because of their capabilities,” Barra confirmed the state had offered the company incentives but did not offer further details.
“We think as we do this in a joint fashion ... [it]will allow us to win in the electric vehicle space,” said Barra. “We think we can bring together the expertise of both our companies and advance it more quickly.”
Further, she said, “We believe it will accelerate EV adoption,” and called this a “critical juncture to create an all-electric future.”