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GM mulls over cylindrical cells for future electric vehicles

In a potentially significant change for the Detroit automaker, General Motors is considering cylindrical battery cells for future electric vehicles, according to a report. TheEleca Korean battery-focused trade publication.

GM has preferred pocket cells made with South Korean supplier LG Energy Solution, but may switch to the 4680-format cylindrical cells used by Tesla, the publication reported, adding that this negotiations with LG Energy Solution about building a fourth battery plant for the Ultium Cells joint venture between the two companies stalled.

2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Version 1

2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Version 1

So far, Ultium Cells, powered by a $2.5 billion loan from the Department of Energyannounced joint venture battery plants in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan — all focused on building large-format pocket cells that GM has said will underpin everything from household vehicles to electric vehicles. Smaller families like the Equinox EV to the GMC Hummer EV and the BrightDrop cargo van.

The fourth plant, which GM has previously said is in the works, is clearly not included in these announcements.

It’s unclear if GM might be looking for cylindrical batteries for its upcoming affordable Ultium platform being developed with Hondaor whether this is for the main Ultium platform, as suspected.

BrightDrop EV410

BrightDrop EV410

GM has said that one of the ways it can achieve economies of scale and focus exclusively on electric vehicles is to focus on the same battery format in almost every EV product except the electric vehicles. smallest car, so it is not clear how the switch to cylindrical batteries will affect this strategy.

Other automakers, such as Stellantis and Volvo, have also hinted at plans to use cylindrical cells, TheElec noted. In August and September, BMW confirmed the change to cylindrical batteries in electric vehicles coming soon, after several months of rumors and reports in the industry.

The cylindrical format is also the format used by the top three US brands: Tesla, Rivian and Lucid. However, long-standing automakers have eschewed cylindrical batteries, although that seems to be changing eventually.


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