Tuesday, June 28, 2022

GM strives to provide the essential lithium supplied by the U.S. for electric vehicles

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General Motors CEO Mary Barra left on June 16, 2021 after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Carlos Barria | Acesparks

General Motors is working with a company called Strategic Investments and Controlled Thermal Resources to ensure the safety of lithium, a U.S.-derived metal critical to electric vehicle batteries.

GM on Friday announced the deal as a way to accelerate lithium mining methods that have less impact on the environment and increase the metal’s domestic supply. Both are major concerns for the Biden administration and investors, as automakers are releasing many new EVs over the next decade.

Most of the lithium used in EV batteries is currently mined and recycled outside the United States. When it comes to domestic battery production, which is expected to put the country at a disadvantage, GM is currently investing billions of dollars, with plans to produce them in the coming years.

GM said it was investing “many millions” of dollars in CTR, which plans to mine lithium from the Salton offshore geothermal field in Imperial, California. GM declined to disclose its net investment.

GM said it would have the first rights to the lithium produced in the first phase of the project as the first investor, including the option of a multi-year deal if the CTR lithium mining process bears fruit.

“It has a lot of potential and GM is the first investor to work with them and is really trying to accelerate it,” GM CEO Tim Electric and Cell Engineering Tim Greve told Acesparks.

The first phase of the project, called CTR Hell’s Kitchen, is expected to begin providing lithium in 2024. GM is expected to assist in the implementation of the 2035 plan to eliminate emissions from passenger cars.

“By ensuring the safety and localization of the lithium supply chain in the U.S., we will help ensure our ability to cover strong, low-cost and high walking distances, while minimizing environmental impact and bringing cheap lithium to the market as a whole. we will help, ”said Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president of global product manufacturing, procurement and supply chain.

The lithium extraction process of CTR involves a closed-loop, direct extraction process, which results in a smaller physical footprint, no production waste, and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. According to GM, compared to traditional processes such as mining or evaporation basins.

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