LG Chem and General Motors announced today a binding agreement for the supply of Cathode Active Material (CAM) from LG Chem to GM. The supply agreement will help GM meet its fast-growing EV production needs. 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.
Through the long-term supply arrangement, 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 will also explore the localization of a CAM production facility in North America by the end of 2025.
“This agreement builds on GM’s commitment to create a strong, sustainable battery raw material supply chain to support our fast-growing EV production needs,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “LG Chem has demonstrated technical expertise, 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,” added Morrison.
The cathode materials that LG Chem plans to supply are NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum) cathode materials for EVs built on GM’s Ultium Platform. NCMA cathode material is a product that combines LG Chem’s best material technology and is characterized by its excellent stability and output. Aluminum was applied to the material technology to strengthen stability while decreasing the amount of cobalt used in GM’s previous generation of batteries by 70%.
In a related news, Livent and General Motors announced today a significant multi-year sourcing agreement in which Livent will supply GM with battery-grade lithium hydroxide made primarily from lithium extracted at Livent’s brine-based operations in South America. Lithium hydroxide is crucial to GM’s plans to make higher performance, higher mileage EVs. 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.
Livent will provide battery-grade lithium hydroxide to GM over a six-year period beginning in 2025. Over the course of the agreement, Livent will increasingly supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to GM from its manufacturing facilities in the U.S., with the goal of transitioning 100% of Livent’s downstream lithium hydroxide processing for GM to North America. The agreement is expected to help secure supply for GM while assisting Livent in expanding its North American capabilities.
Both GM and Livent share a commitment to responsible operations and sustainable supply chains through industry and multi-stakeholder platforms. General Motors is a member of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) in 2021 and plans to become carbon neutral in global products and operations by 2040. Livent is actively engaged in an IRMA third-party assessment, has a gold rating from EcoVadis for sustainability and has announced a goal of overall carbon neutrality by 2040.