GM announces Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center

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Amanda Drago

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An architectural rendering of the exterior of the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center
An architectural rendering of the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center
Photo: General Motors

General Motors announced the addition of the new Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center to its Global Technical Center located in Warren, Michigan. This facility will focus on the development and marketing of electric vehicle batteries.


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What is GM planning for the Wallace Center?

The World Technical Center already has several different battery development sites. GM’s Research and Development Chemistry and Materials Subsystems Laboratory develops batteries such as those with lithium-metal anodes. The Estes Battery Systems Lab tests battery durability at pack, module and cell level. It is the largest battery validation laboratory in North America.

Soon, the new Wallace Center will allow GM to add batteries with longer ranges and lower costs to its electric vehicles. It will build on work already done within GM’s research and development, helping GM meet its goal of reducing Ultium battery costs by 60%.

The Wallace Center will also accelerate the creation of silicon and lithium-metal batteries. For example, it will have the ability to manufacture prototypes of lithium-metal battery cells for vehicles. In addition, it will accelerate new production methods, which battery cell factories in Ohio and Tennessee can then adopt.

GM plans to include a materials synthesis laboratory, cell formation chambers, cell test chambers, an electrolyte production laboratory, a sludge mixing and processing laboratory, a coating room and a forensic lab at the Wallace Center. The automaker named the facility after Bill Wallace, director of Battery Systems and Electrification. His team has designed battery systems for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Malibu Hybrid, Volt 1 and Volt 2.

The Wallace Center is currently under construction and is expected to be ready to open in mid-2022. Next, GM expects to manufacture its first prototype cells in the fourth quarter of that year.


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