General Motors Announces Plans To Build New Wallace Battery Innovation Center, Part Of Broader Move To Cut Costs And Enhance EV Range

General Motors Is out to show that it can dominate the EV marketplace. With arch-rival Ford recently announcing plans to build a massive EV-focused complex called “Blue Oval City” to enhance battery cell development. GM has revealed that it will be building a battery cell facility of its own as the General scrambles to shore up its EV operations.


Wallace Battery Innovation Center To Be Key Hub For GM EVs

Dubbed the Wallace Battery Innovation Center, the facility was named after Bill Wallace a former GM executive who played a key role in developing GM’s battery technology before he lost his battle with cancer in 2018. The 300,000 square foot facility will be nestled right in the heart of GM’s sprawling Tech Center in Warren, Michigan and is expected to open in the middle of 2022.

When it does kick into operation, the facility will have an impressive amount of flexibility which will allow workers to tackle multiple aspects of battery cell production. That includes building large-format lithium-metal battery cells and even silicon and solid-state-based tech. In addition to those items, the facility will also be a pilot plant of sorts, with GM using the facility to test out production methods before they are unleashed onto formal assembly lines. This strategy will allow GM to get real-world data and sort out any production problems before it moves the battery cells or production techniques to mainstream assembly.


Reducing Costs And Playing A Role In The Future

Along with streamlining GM’s current production strategy for Ultium, the Wallace Battery Innovation Center will also play a big role in GM’s future electrification plans. GM execs have said in the past that they are looking to slash the cost of battery cell production by 60% especially when the next generation of Ultium batteries make their way onto the scene.

GM has high expectations for these batteries and thinks that they will allow owners to get over 600 miles per charge which would be significantly higher than the 300-mile barrier that can be achieved with current electric vehicles across the whole segment.

“The key to making these vehicles affordable is going the be the cell cost in the battery packs” revealed Ken Morris vice-president of GM electric and self-driving vehicles. That statement is an indicator of GM’s awareness of the challenges of the segment with many electric vehicles still having large price tags which is partially due to the production process especially in battery technology.