General Motors is building a new battery research facility in Michigan at approximately 300,000 feet, in an effort to build long-range, fast-charging and more environmentally friendly vehicles.
But in an effort to outperform the competition, GM aims to create batteries capable of “up to 1,200 watt-hours per liter” to support electric vehicles with an incredible range of 500 miles or even 600 miles, according to a recent press release from the company.
It’s exciting, but with skepticism from some experts, it might be wise to take this with a grain of craving for salt.
The ambitious range of 600-mile electric vehicles exceeds earlier targets
The carmaker wants the new assembly line pilot project to be “one of the only ones in North America that can use large-format prototype cells, up to a meter wide or even wider, with the same stacked electrodes,” said Vice President Ken Morris of GM’s electric and autonomous vehicles, according to report from On the edge. GM wants to produce batteries that maintain an energy density of “up to 1,200 watts per liter,” Morris said in the report. “And that means you can easily have a 500- or 600-mile vehicle with a single charge, which is possible, creating a new reality for our customers.”
In context, this would put upcoming GM batteries out of the range originally advertised for the Ultium battery architecture, which the carmaker said would allow “400 miles or more” to run, according to the report. When Ultium batteries were first announced, the company said the design would focus on wide-format bag-style cells, which are usually different from cylindrical seen in Tesla and other electric cars. This means that the batteries can be arranged horizontally or vertically in the battery depending on the situation.
“With these low-cost, high-energy-density vehicles, we really think we can have a better package with less mass, better for the vehicle, better for the customer, and that can become a reality as much as possible. quickly through the Wallace Innovation Center, ”Morris explained in the report. GM’s first-generation Ultium batteries will appear in the Hummer EV, which is due to go into production next year. The Wallace Center is currently preparing to serve as a venue for options that are expected to deviate dramatically from the current lithium-ion standard.
GM plans to achieve its carbon-neutral target by 2040.
“The Wallace Center will be a colocation of development engineers, research engineers and manufacturing engineers, where we will accelerate this next generation,” Morris said. “Technologies such as lithium metal or pure silicon anodes, even solid state batteries.” By default, GM’s upcoming “innovation hub” is not in itself a conventional battery manufacturing facility. Instead, it will allow the company to try different production styles.
GM has become the largest carmaker in the North American continent using internal combustion engines, but this must end because the evidence linking climate change to industrial practices and fossil fuels became indisputable. This means that GM, along with almost every other car giant, is reducing the production of electric vehicles so that they can remain competitive in the carbon-neutral car market, which aims to remain completely carbon-neutral until 2040. GM has in order to stop the sales of vans petrol and diesel cars by 2035, which means that efficient, reliable and long-range batteries are crucial for the carmaker’s future.