General Motors will become the biggest shareholder of Lithium Americas in a deal that’s expected to speed up production of the key electric-vehicle battery metal in Nevada.
The auto manufacturer and Vancouver-headquartered lithium miner announced that they will jointly invest to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, which is the largest known source of lithium in the United States and the third largest in the world.
Under the agreement, GM will make a USD $650 million equity investment in Lithium Americas, which represents the largest-ever investment by an automaker to produce battery raw materials.
Lithium Americas estimates the lithium extracted and processed from the project can support production of up to 1 million EVs per year.
Automaker investments in raw battery-materials production have become popular as manufacturers try to bolster supply for their EV plants and GM believes this investment could be the largest one to date.
Lithium carbonate from Thacker Pass will be used in GM’s proprietary Ultium battery cells. Lithium is a key material in lithium-ion batteries and stands up well to repeated charging and discharging (including enabling fast charging), delivers higher energy density, and offers more usable capacity than other battery types.
GM is launching a broad portfolio of trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles and light commercial vehicles using the Ultium Platform, including the GMC Hummer EV Pickup and SUV, GMC Sierra EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Cadillac CELESTIQ, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Equinox EV, BrightDrop Zevo 400 and BrightDrop Zevo 600.
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