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GM invests $854 million in internal combustion engines and is looking for a new partner to build a fourth battery plant.

Published: 2023-01-23

In recent months, automakers have been more vocal about their intentions to accelerate the transition to electric traction, so the decision of the American giant General Motors to invest $ 854 million in the production of eight-cylinder internal combustion engines, amid doubts about the feasibility of building an additional plant for the production of traction batteries, looks like a kind of environmental demarche.

First, some sources said last week that GM and LG Energy Solution would not build a fourth joint venture in the United States focused on the production of traction batteries for electric vehicles. In August, the parties announced that they were considering the Indiana site as a site for the construction of a fourth joint venture in the United States, and the project budget was estimated at $2.5 billion. GM representatives said last week that the corporation plans to invest in the construction of a fourth battery plant in the United States, but they declined to comment on the rumors in detail. LG Energy Solution said that negotiations on this project are still ongoing, but no decisions have been made.

According to sources, GM can still build the facility, but with the support of another partner. GM and LG are already building facilities in Michigan and Tennessee with launches in 2023 and 2024 respectively. The first joint venture in Ohio launched the Ultium family of traction batteries last September. By the middle of next year, they will provide production of 400,000 electric vehicles in North America, and by 2025 GM expects to increase this volume to 1 million cars.

Last week, GM announced plans to invest $918 million to modernize existing facilities in the US. A significant part of the amount, $854 million, will be used to prepare for the production of sixth-generation V-shaped internal combustion engines with the so-called sixth generation compact 8-cylinder block, which are traditionally in demand in the North American market. The remaining $64 million will be used to develop housings and cooling systems for electric vehicle traction batteries in the states of New York and Ohio. The corporation believes that the ability to produce components for both internal combustion engines and electric vehicles at the same enterprise provides the business flexibility necessary in today's conditions.