Today, July 26, 2022, General Motors officially announced two new deals that will help “fuel” its electric vehicle efforts going forward. The automaker shared that it has signed long-term battery-related agreements with both LG Chem and Livent. The company also noted that both deals will focus on GM and its suppliers working to localize production.
Industry experts and CEOs have made it clear of late that raw materials may become a big issue for automakers amid the transition to electric cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is gone so far as to encourage people to get involved in mining.
While there are plenty of battery materials out there, someone has to mine them and refine them, not to mention turn the raw materials into actual battery cells, which eventually make up electric vehicle battery packs.
Some automakers appear to be scrambling to get a leg up on rivals by securing battery materials well into the future. According to Automotive News, GM said it already has suppliers lined up for all battery-related materials, such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel, along with cathode active material. The company went on to say that it’s confident it will be able to meet its goal of producing 1 million electric cars per year in North America by the end of 2025.
GM shared that the new deal with LG Chem will provide a supply of some 968,000 tons of cathode material. The material will begin to come in later this year, and the multi-year contract will run through 2030. GM said the total supply is enough to produce 5 million electric vehicles between now and 2030.
The publication goes on to explain that cathode material comprises some 40 percent of the cost of a single battery. The material comes from processed lithium and nickel, as well as other various materials.
The second deal is with Livent. According to GM, it will last six years, beginning in 2025. The supply agreement refers to an unspecified amount of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.