GM working with 'all the best startups' on next-gen EV battery technologies: EVP Doug Parks

GM working with 'all the best startups' on next-gen EV battery technologies: EVP Doug Parks

Detroit-based automobile giant General Motors (GM) is working with “all the best startups” on next-generation electric vehicle (EV) battery technology while planning a big boost to production capacity for its new Ultium battery system, a senior executive of the company said.

Amid growing demand for EVs around the globe, GM has partnered with a number of tech giants like Honda Motor and LG Chem to get an edge over rivals in the fields of batteries as well as battery-powered vehicles.

Doug Parks, the Detroit-based manufacturer’s Executive Vice President (EVP) of global product development, acknowledged in a statement that they were looking outside the company to startups to get on the front edge of the learning curve.

Speaking on the topic, Mr. Parks said, “We’re partnering with some great companies, including Honda Motor and LG Chem, on electric vehicles and batteries. But we're also looking outside the company to startups to get on the front edge of that learning curve.”

Mr. Parks was speaking at the recently-held investor conference. He stressed that GM continues to build its relationship with Honda. The Detroit-headquartered firm is jointly developing a number of future EVs with Honda.

Aiming to surpass Tesla in the field of EVs, GM has set aside $27 billion to accelerate its transition from conventional vehicles to EV technologies. Tesla, the world’s leading manufacturer of electric cars, sold nearly 500,000 cars worldwide last year. Previously, the company had announced plans to invest $20 billion in the EV segment. The increase in the investment proves the company’s eagerness to bid goodbye to fossil fuel-powered internal combustion engines (ICEs).

Mr. Parks explained that much of that $7 billion increase in investment is tied to spending on a project to boost production capacity for the Ultium battery, which is scheduled to enter the production line in Ohio in 2022 in a $2.3 billion joint venture (JV) with LG Chem.

It is but natural for GM to find new ways to increase its battery capacity as batteries play the most crucial role in the EVs, which are expected to start dominating the automobile market sooner than later. GM aims to launch as many as 20 electric models in North America by the end of 2025, which requires it to expand its battery capacity.

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