General Motors Plans Battery-Cell Lab in Southeast Michigan

GM

We’ve written about the lofty promises automakers are making when it comes to EVs, but regardless of whether you think they’ll make their targets or not, they’re at least putting plans in motion.

Ford has its Blue Oval City. Meanwhile, General Motors has plans to open a battery-cell lab in suburban Detroit.

According to Automotive News, it will be part of its Global Technical Center in Warren, Mich. It will be called the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center in honor of late GM engineer Bill Wallace. Wallace worked on battery engineering.

GM thinks the lab will triple in size over time as EV demand increases.

“To put everybody in an EV, we need to make better batteries that cost a lot less. That’s why we’re investing in this research center and development center,” Tim Grewe, director of global battery cell engineering and strategy, told AN.

GM hasn’t disclosed the cost of the investment, but an exec told the News it’s at least hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Wallace Center isn’t the first battery-related facility to be part of the campus. The Research and Development Chemical and Materials’ Subsystems Lab is in charge of battery development and the Estes Battery Systems Lab works on cells, modules, and packs.

The new center will focus on advancing battery technology involving components like lithium-ion and silicon while also testing production methods. It will also allow the company to prototype large-format cells — something it can’t currently do at its research and development facilities.

The large-format cells are almost twice the size of what’s currently in use in the company’s Ultium batteries. They also use stacked electrodes, which GM says is key to achieving higher-density batteries. That translates into increased range and lower mass.

It’s all part of a strategy to create batteries that are high density and low cost.

[Image: GM]

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