GM invests in battery recycling company Lithion

GM Ventures, the automaker’s investment arm, has made a strategic investment in Lithion Recycling’s Series A financing round, supporting a new GM-Lithion strategic partnership agreement to pursue a circular battery ecosystem using Lithion’s advanced battery recycling technology.

This collaboration between GM and Lithion will focus on:

  • Validation of Lithion’s recovered battery materials for use in the production of new batteries, and potential to acquire battery materials.
  • Joint investment in research and development for both recycling processes and recyclability of future battery design.

With a recovery rate of more than 95% and using Québec’s green energy, Lithion’s technology and operations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75% and water usage by more than 90% compared to mining battery materials, as demonstrated by a third-party lifecycle analysis.

“GM is aggressively scaling battery cell and EV production in North America to reach our target of more than 1 million units of annual capacity by 2025, and we plan to eliminate tailpipe emissions from all our new light-duty vehicles by 2035—so we are building a supply chain and recycling strategy that can grow with us. In Lithion’s technology, we see the opportunity to recover and reuse raw material in our Ultium battery packs, making the EVs we produce even more sustainable and helping drive down costs”, says Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain

In August, Ultium Cells, GM’s joint venture with LG Energy Solution, opened its first US battery cell plant, with two additional plants under construction. A fourth planned battery cell plant will bring GM’s projected total US battery capacity to 160 GWh.

GM now has binding agreements securing all its battery raw material to reach annual planned capacity in 2025, including lithium, nickel, cobalt and full cathode active material supply. As the company moves forward, it will work to increasingly localize its battery materials supply chain to North America.

In 2023, Lithion will launch its first commercial recycling operations, drawing on data from its successful industrial-scale demonstration plant commissioned in January 2020. The opening of this facility, with a capacity of 7,500 metric tons per year of lithium-ion batteries, will be followed in 2025 by the launch of Lithion’s first hydrometallurgical plant.

Lithion has multiple facilities in the pipeline for the US, Europe and Korea, in line with its vision to support rapid deployment and enhanced battery end-of-life management globally.

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