GM Gets Into Metal Lithium Battery Game

The battery wars are heating up!

General Motors Co on Thursday announced a partnership with a lithium metal battery startup to boost the U.S. automaker’s battery development, allowing for higher electric vehicle driving range in a smaller package.

The joint development agreement with SolidEnergy Solutions (SES) of Woburn, Massachusetts, 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% less than today’s packs with twice the energy density.

The companies plan to build a manufacturing line at SES to assemble a prototype battery by 2023, said GM, which invested an undisclosed amount in SES in 2015.

Battery cells that use lithium metal in place of conventional graphite have the potential to store more energy, and thus provide more driving range in future electric vehicles (EVs), or similar range in a much smaller and lighter battery pack.

GM executives said the technology being developed with SES will be used in future Ultium-based vehicles, the first of which 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:

“This is a great opportunity for us to find greater energy in a smaller package that will free up the space inside the vehicle for other technology.”

Last year, GM introduced Ultium as a key pillar in its push to cut battery costs and extend electric driving range. GM is building a $2.3 billion joint-venture Ultium battery plant in Ohio with LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Chem, and the companies expect to add a second factory, possibly in Tennessee.


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  1. Anne Marshall

    I don’t understand all of this hype about battery-operated autos. First of all, the batteries cannot be recycled when they are done.
    The drivers of the Ford battery-operated car can only get about 25 miles on one battery charge and then it switches over to gasoline which is only 9 gallons of gasoline. Then the time it takes to charge this little car is about a half a day or better. The cost of these vehicles is much higher than the gasoline-driven automobile. What are we going to do with all of this junk when it is decided that it has been useless and a lot of people bought this phoney business.

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