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General Motors has announced a new battery innovation center to help bring lithium-metal, silicon, and solid-state batteries to market.

The new facility, called the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center, is already under construction in Warren, MI and is set to be completed in mid-2022.

However, the Innovation Center still has room to grow and is projected to be three times the size of its initial footprint. The first prototype battery cells are expected to be finished at the centre in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The Wallace Center will significantly ramp up development and production of our next-generation Ultium batteries and our ability to bring next-generation EV batteries to market,” says Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

“The addition of the Wallace Center is a massive expansion of our battery development operations and will be a key part of our plan to build cells that will be the basis of more affordable EVs with longer range in the future.”

The Center will also be capable of building large-format, prototype lithium-metal battery cells for vehicle usage – unlike the current small-scale lithium-metal cells typically used in handheld devices or research applications. 

Gm Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Sky

The Wallace Center will include cell test chambers, cell formation chambers, a material synthesis lab where GM can design its own cathode active materials, a slurry mixing and processing lab, a coating room, an electrolyte production lab, and a forensics lab with material analysis equipment and advanced software.

The Wallace Center is named for Bill Wallace, a GM director who played a pivotal role in the development of the automaker’s advanced battery technology and trained many of its current battery leaders, before passing away in 2018. 

As director of Battery Systems and Electrification, Wallace led the team that designed and released GM’s battery systems in the Chevrolet Volt 1, Volt 2, Malibu Hybrid, and Bolt EV.

“In addition to being a good friend, Bill was an innovator who enabled other innovators,” says Parks, “he gave his team confidence to take risks and reach far beyond their wildest dreams in pursuit of our all-electric, zero-emissions future.”

 

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