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General Motors' (GM) New Battery Lab to Step Up EV Strides

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General Motors (GM - Free Report) has set the stage for battery tech innovation with its recent announcement to establish a new research facility in Michigan. The facility — named Wallace Battery Innovation Center — will help the U.S. auto giant to speed up the manufacture and commercialization of long-range and more affordable electric vehicles (EVs). With batteries serving as the secret sauce for electric vehicles, General Motors has been focused on revving up battery research efforts for more than a decade now. And the latest move in this direction is the Wallace Centre, whose construction is likely to be completed by mid-2022.

The addition of the new facility will widely expand General Motors’ battery development operations and accelerate the production of next-gen Ultium batteries. The Wallace Center will be capable of developing and testing cells that are up to a meter wide and double the size of the Ultium cells manufactured currently. In fact, the capability to build large-format, prototype lithium-metal battery cells would be the main attraction of the new facility. Also, it is expected to manufacture batteries with energy density ranging within 600-1200 watt-hours per liter. That translates to a range of around 500-600 miles on a single recharge, up from 400 miles initially claimed by the company for its Ultium battery architecture.

The Wallace Center will help General Motors reach its target of achieving a 60% reduction in battery costs by mid-decade. The lab is likely to develop its first prototype cells in fourth-quarter 2022.

The Detroit-based automaker intends to make its entire fleet carbon neutral by 2040 and has committed to targets that align with the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. To this end, General Motors has committed to investing $35 billion in electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, and plans to introduce more than 30 electric vehicle models globally by 2025. In fact, to advance its commitment to lead an all-electric carbon-neutral future, the company is aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy five years earlier in the United States.

General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked players in the auto space include Honda (HMC - Free Report) , Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) and Yamaha Motor (YAMHF - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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