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GM ink key Li-ion supply chain management pact with LG Chem and Livent

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General Motors announced two major Li-ion battery supply chain agreements, one with LG Chem for cathode active material (CAM), and one with Livent for the supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.

CAM is a key battery material consisting of components like processed nickel, lithium, and other materials representing about 40% of the cost of a battery cell.

GM says the supply agreement will help it meet its fast-growing EV production needs.

LG Chem plans to supply more than 950,000 tons of CAM to GM beginning the second half of 2022 through 2030, enough for approximately 5 million units of EV production.

The CAM secured by GM will be used by Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, at its battery cell plants in Warren, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan.

GM and LG Chem stated they will also explore the localization of a CAM production facility in North America by the end of 2025.

Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, says: "This agreement builds on GM's commitment to creating a strong, sustainable battery raw material supply chain to support our fast-growing EV production needs. LG Chem has demonstrated technical expertise and high-quality and mass production capabilities of cathode active materials over the last decade. At the same time, this agreement demonstrates GM's commitment to strong supplier relationships, and compliments our many other recent EV supply chain announcements."

"Importantly, GM now has contractual commitments secured with strategic partners for all battery raw material to support our goal of 1 million units of EV capacity by the end of 2025," adds Morrison.

Shin Hak Cheol, CEO of LG Chem, comments: "Based upon a close collaboration with customers, LG Chem will further strengthen its position as a global leader in the market by producing the world's best cathode materials."

GM also announced a significant multi-year sourcing agreement with Livent to supply it with battery-grade lithium hydroxide made primarily from lithium extracted at Livent's brine-based operations in South America.

The lithium hydroxide from Livent will be used in GM's Ultium battery cathodes, which will power electric vehicles such as the recently revealed Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC HUMMER EV, and Cadillac LYRIQ. 

Author : Moulin Oza
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