According to TheElec, General Motors is considering using cylindrical batteries instead of soft pack batteries in its electric vehicles (EVs).
The U.S. auto giant had previously used soft-pack batteries from battery supplier LG New Energy for its models.
This choice by General Motors has led to the postponement of talks with LG New Energy on the planned construction of a fourth plant for the two joint venture Ultium Cells, sources said.
In the meantime, the U.S. company may finalize its future plans to use cylindrical batteries. Its future EV platform will support the use of this battery type.
It is highly likely that GM will choose a similar 4680 battery, a specification used by Tesla.
Cylindrical batteries are shaped like cylinders and are widely used by Tesla. Other automakers such as BMW, Volvo, and Stellantis also plan to use this battery type because of its productivity advantages over competing types.
Cylindrical battery manufacturers can roll up cathodes, anodes and diaphragms and put them into cylindrical tanks, which is a fairly simple production process.
The downside, however, is that cylindrical cells typically have a lower energy density compared to square and soft pack cells. This is because there is more empty space when the cylindrical cells are packed together.
4680 cells are 80 mm long. When they are packed together, making them longer and wider creates less empty space. Tesla also uses 4680 cells without lugs, making them even more compact.
GM is also likely to consider cylindrical batteries because the price of battery packs and raw materials is rising. Cylindrical batteries are the oldest type of battery and offer more room for manufacturers to reduce costs.