GM’s Mary Barra outlines EV plans as LG Electronics plant prepares to come online

GM is poised to build more all-electric vehicles as improvements continue at its recently expanded battery lab and a new LG Electronics plant in Michigan comes online, according to the automaker’s chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

The LG Electronics facility in Hazel Park will start making battery packs this fall to supply GM’s Orion Assembly Plant, where the automaker builds the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, Barra wrote in a post on LinkedIn. The post, provided a progress report towards the company’s goal of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

“Over the last century, cars, trucks and crossovers transformed our lives by giving us the freedom of mobility. But relying exclusively on internal combustion engines to power this freedom presents challenges,” Barra wrote. “Today, we have a tremendous opportunity to help reduce these challenges by adding electric vehicles to our lineup.”

Much of the post was a recap, noting GM’s plan to launch 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023 and a production increase of the Chevy Bolt. The company also plans to deliver a prototype vehicle capable of a 180-mile range with less than 10 minutes of charging to Delta Electronics for official testing as part of a new U.S. Department of Energy initiative that was covered last month by Bloomberg.

There were a few new nuggets, namely that the LG Electronics plant would soon be producing battery packs.

Barra also said thanks to a recent expansion of its battery lab, GM is able to complete nearly all battery testing under one roof, which has reduced development time and cost. The lab, located in GM’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Mich., is now more than 100,000 square feet and includes new heavy and mild battery abuse test areas.

GM has planned additional major enhancements of the battery lab that will begin this fall and include adding with new test chambers and advanced equipment.