On Monday morning, car conglomerate Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced a new joint venture to produce lithium-ion battery cells destined for electric vehicles in North America. The factory—to be built at an as-yet-unnamed site—should start producing cells in 2024, with a targeted output of 40 GWh/year once it is fully operational.
Stellantis was formed at the beginning of 2021 with the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)—which owned the Fiat, Ram, Jeep, and Chrysler brands, among others—together with Peugeot SA (PSA). FCA had been seeking to partner with another large OEM to prepare for the coming electrified future, and PSA had plenty of that expertise to bring to the table.
In July, Stellantis showed off its electrification roadmap, a $35.5 billion plan that includes four battery-electric vehicle platforms, including one for the big body-on-frame pickups and SUVs that are so beloved by US customers.
Stellantis will require plenty of lithium-ion cells to make that happen, with pack capacities ranging from 37 kWh for the smallest vehicles to monster-sized 200 kWh packs for the longest-range body-on-frame BEVs. That will necessitate several massive battery plants, of which this North American joint venture will be but one.
“Today’s announcement is further proof that we are deploying our aggressive electrification road map and are following through on the commitments we made during our EV Day event in July,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis. “With this, we have now determined the next ‘gigafactory’ coming to the Stellantis portfolio to help us achieve a total minimum of 260 GWh of capacity by 2030.”
“Establishing a joint venture with Stellantis will be a monumental milestone in our long-standing partnership,” said Jong-hyun Kim, president and CEO of LG Energy Solution, which has been the supplier for the battery pack in the plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Groundbreaking for the new North American battery plant is expected to take place in Q2 2022.