GM just struck a deal with LG Chem that gives them enough raw cathode materials to build 5 million electric cars.
General Motors had set a very ambitious goal for itself: to make enough electric vehicles to become totally carbon neutral by 2040. But to make that happen, the company needs about 950,000 tons of cathode active materials (CAM). And now that is becoming more of a possibility, thanks to a deal with LG Chem to snag a supply of CAM starting later this year.
CAM is essential to making a battery, as it consists of processed nickel, lithium, and other key materials that make up about 40% of the total cost of a battery cell. Most EV battery cathodes are made with nickel, cobalt, and magnesium (NCM). Cobalt is probably the most important component, but it’s also the most expensive battery material and is mined under conditions that violate human rights, leading to cobalt being dubbed “the blood diamond of batteries.”
Because of this, other companies in GM’s position are working to make cobalt-free batteries. GM’s Ultium batteries will add aluminum to reduce the cobalt content by 70% (making it an NCMA mix instead of NCM).
LG Chem, one of South Korea’s leading battery companies, will start supplying General Motors with CAM starting in the second half of 2022 until 2030. GM says that this will be enough material to power roughly 5 million EVs.
GM also recently reached a different deal to source lithium from geothermal deposits here in the U.S.
In an attempt to catch up with other automakers like Tesla, Ford, and Hyundai in the EV market, General Motors is working to better manage its own supply chain, which includes battery manufacturing. It will spend over $4 billion to construct two battery factories in North America, as part of its partnership with LG Chem.
GMC Hummer EV
SOURCE | IMAGES: THE VERGE.