General Motors said Thursday it is considering building a second battery factory in the U.S. with South Korean joint venture partner LG Chem Ltd.
The largest U.S. automaker confirmed it is "exploring the feasibility of constructing a second, state of the art battery cell manufacturing plant in the United States" with LG Chem's battery unit LG Energy Solution, via the Ultium Cells LLC joint venture.
GM said it hopes to have a decision by June.
GM and LG Chem are likely to build the plant in Tennessee and if finalized it’s expected to be near GM's Spring Hill assembly plant, two people briefed on the matter said. It would be similar in scope to the $2.3 billion joint venture battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, currently under construction, the sources said.
The announcement came a day after the disclosure that the U.S. Transportation Department will analyze the impact of an electric vehicle battery trade ruling against SK Innovation Co. on President Joe Biden's green transportation goals in an ongoing trade fight with LG Chem.
LG Energy Solution said in a statement that it was in talks to make further investments with GM, but could not disclose the specifics.
"LG Energy Solution is also planning additional capacity expansion for other global OEMs located in the U.S.," it said.
GM and LG Chem's joint venture plant in Ohio will be one of the world's largest battery facilities.
The plant, being built near GM's closed assembly plant in Lordstown, will accelerate the automaker’s plan to introduce 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025.
GM CEO Mary Barra has said the company wants to exceed its prior target of annual sales of 1 million EVs in the U.S. and China by 2025.
Most battery manufacturing is currently concentrated in Asia and Europe, while Tesla Inc. controls most U.S. battery production.
News of the second U.S. plant for GM and LG Chem was originally reported by The Wall Street Journal.