To secure a supply chain of critical components needed to create millions of EVs, General Motors said on Tuesday that it will invest $650 million into Lithium Americas as part of a deal to establish a mine in Nevada.
According to GM, this is the company’s largest expenditure ever on battery raw materials. It’s easy to see why. GMC Sierra EV, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, and Chevrolet Equinox are just few of the many upcoming all-electric cars, SUVs, crossovers, and trucks from General Motors. In November, General Motors projected that by 2025, sales of its 30 EV models will bring in more than $50 billion in revenue, with profit margins in the low to mid-single digits.
However, this is impossible if production of the cars by General Motors is impeded by problems in the supply chain. Every carmaker wants to avoid the semiconductor chip scarcity that began in 2020, especially as the industry shifts to EVs.
Joint venture agreements between GM and battery manufacturers have brought production to the United States and ensured a steady supply of cells. The lithium used in EV batteries is a critical resource, and GM has secured a supply of it.
The project at the Thacker Pass mine, where the lithium would be harvested and processed, is expected to be able to sustain production of up to 1 million EVs annually, according to Lithium Americas. It is anticipated that production would start at Thacker Pass in the second half of 2026. Thacker Pass is projected to provide 1,000 construction employment and 500 permanent operations positions, according to Lithium Americas.
Mary Barra, Chair and CEO of General Motors, has stated that the company has “secured all the battery material we need to build more than 1 million EVs annually in North America in 2025,” and that moving forward, the company will increasingly rely on domestic resources like the site in Nevada it is developing with Lithium Americas. The security of our supply chain, the ability to control prices, and the creation of new employment are all the result of our direct procurement of crucial EV raw materials and components from suppliers in North America and free-trade-agreement nations.
The capital contribution will be made in two equal halves. If certain requirements are completed, including a decision in a federal district court in the United States, the first will be released to Lithium Americas. Lithium Americas is dividing its operations in the United States and Argentina, therefore the second payment is contingent on that happening.
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