General Motors announced this week two partnerships to help it secure the resources needed for its many upcoming EVs. Earlier this year the company announced a new batter plant in Tennessee in partnership with LG Chem, but today’s news has to do with the materials needed to build those batteries.
Cathode Active Materials from LG Chem
“Nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum” are needed for Cathode-Active Materials in GM’s Ultium battery cells. These are the units that should go into essentially every upcoming EV from all the GM brands. Through a long-term agreement, LG Chem should provide GM with enough of the stuff to make five million EVs. This new chemistry should reduce the dependence on cobalt, which has sustainability issues.
Lithium from Livent
GM also announced a six-year partnership with American firm Livent for “battery-grade lithium hydroxide.” Most of this will start being sourced from South America, with plans to make the supply mostly US-based in coming years.
What Does This Mean for Upcoming Cars?
Between the shipping Hummer EV and upcoming Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevy Blazer EV, and Silverado EV, GM’s deals today seem pivotal in securing resources to make enough cars. Supply is definitely the constraining factor in the current American market for electrics. There’s just not enough EVs available to meet growing demand. These deals are big for the long game, and while they won’t alleviate the current supply crisis, they will help set up one of America’s biggest auto makers to better compete in EVs.