GM invests in Canadian battery recycler to tackle supply shortage

General Motors is partnering with a Canadian battery recycler to produce new batteries from recovered battery materials, in an effort to increase production of electric vehicles in North America amid supply shortages and increased costs.

The automaker has invested through its arm GM Ventures in a Series A funding round for Lithion Recycling, a developer of advanced battery recycling technology. Together, the two companies will work to establish a circular ecosystem for recycling electric vehicle batteries, a critical bottleneck as the industry races to phase out gasoline engines at the end of the century. decade.

Until recently, electric vehicle deployment around the world has focused on building numerous charging stations to support the wave of battery electric vehicles expected to hit the road by 2030. But the COVID pandemic -19 and the war in Ukraine interrupted global supply chains, making raw materials used. for rarer and more expensive batteries.

GM and other automakers are pushing for more control over supply by offshoring operations and bringing more of the battery life cycle in-house. About 15 million tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to be retired by 2030, the deadline most automakers have set for phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles, according to AquaMetals.

Redwood Materials has partnerships with Ford and Volvo, as well as an agreement with Toyota, to collect, refurbish and recycle batteries and battery materials to send to the automaker’s next battery plant in North Carolina. The Nevada-based metal recycler expects the battery recycling market to reach $18.7 billion by the end of the decade.

The partnership with Lithion will help GM build “a supply chain and recycling strategy that can grow with us,” Jeff Morrison, GM’s vice president of global supply chain and purchasing, said in a statement. .

“In Lithion’s technology, we see the opportunity to recover and reuse raw materials in our Ultium batteries, making the electric vehicles we produce even more sustainable and helping to reduce costs,” Morrison said.

Lithion plans to launch its first commercial operations in 2023, with a capacity of 7,500 tons per year of lithium-ion batteries. The launch of Lithion’s first hydrometallurgical plant is scheduled for 2025.

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