It has been a big year for electric vehicles (EVs) with most large automakers offering them now or readying themselves to deliver them soon. General Motors (GM), the largest carmaker in the USA, has been making big moves with huge investments for its electric future.
Back in 2021, GM announced it planned to increase its investment to $35 billion in autonomous and electric vehicles through 2025. This was big news and showed the company was taking its electric future seriously. Since then, the company has taken has made some big announcements in the zero emissions space. Here are the best from 2022:
GM announced they will invest more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites to significantly increase battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity. This investment will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 staff.
General Motors (GM) announced it was doubling its Climate Equity Fund to $50 million building on its commitment to equitable climate action. Since creating the Climate Equity Fund eight months earlier, GM has supported 21 nonprofit organisations that are helping to implement inclusive solutions for a zero-emissions, carbon-neutral future.
GM announced it was expanding its North America-focused electric vehicle (EV) supply chain with POSCO Chemical in Canada. Estimated at $400 million, the new facility will produce cathode active material (CAM) for GM’s Ultium batteries. These will be used to power the brand’s electric vehicles.
GM and Glencore entered a cobalt supply agreement for its electric vehicle batteries. These will be used to power electric vehicles including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ.
Later in the month, GM announced a feature standard in its Ultium-based electric vehicles that captures and repurposes waste energy from the battery. Through the Ultium electric vehicle platform’s energy recovery system, this waste energy can increase a vehicle’s range, reduce battery energy needed for heating, increase charging speed and even enable sportier driving.
At the end of the month, GM released its 12th Annual Sustainability Report. It outlines the company’s progress on expanding electric vehicle access, electrifying beyond the personal vehicle and helping to ensure that climate action is equitable and inclusive as the brand transitions to an all-electric future.
GM announced it will invest more than $81 million into the company’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan to build the Cadillac CELESTIQ. The investment will be used to purchase and install related equipment to hand-build the CELESTIQ. Renovation work at the campus has already begun.
GM and Livent announced a multi-year sourcing agreement in which Livent will supply the company with battery-grade lithium hydroxide. This is 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 electric vehicles. 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.
Early in the month, it was announced that Julian Thomson, the former head of design at Jaguar Land Rover, had joined General Motors (GM). He will head up the company’s new European Advanced Design studio due to open in the UK at the end of the year.
Later in the month, it was announced that GM will invest $491 million at its Marion, Indiana metal stamping operations in the USA. This is to prepare the facility to produce a variety of steel and aluminium stamped parts for future products, including electric vehicles.
Following this, the company announced that Hertz, the global rental car company, had signed an agreement ordering up to 175,000 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop electric vehicles over the next five years.
The company finished the month with the announcement of a partnership with OneD Battery Sciences. This was for the joint research development on the potential use of OneD’s silicon nanotechnology in GM’s Ultium battery cells for electric vehicles.
This technology is aimed at driving significant increases in energy density for longer range and reduced cost. GM Ventures and Volta Energy Technologies also participated in OneD’s Series C funding round, which the company recently closed at $25 million.
At the start of the month battery manufacturer, Microvast announced they will work with GM to develop specialised electric vehicle battery separator technology. In doing so, they will build a new separator plant in the US which is expected to create hundreds of new jobs.
This work will be supported by a $200 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing initiative. Separators are safety-critical EV battery components that serve to separate the anode from the cathode, allowing for ion transfer. GM will contribute its cutting-edge separator and coating technology to the collaboration with Microvast.
Following this, GM announced it expects its rapidly growing portfolio of electric vehicles will be solidly profitable in 2025 in North America. This is as the company scales electric vehicle capacity in the region to more than one million units annually.
This combined with the ramp-up of software revenue opportunities, significant greenhouse gas benefits and impacts of new clean energy tax credits, will make this profit attainable.
In the middle of the month, GM and Vale Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Vale S.A., announced they have signed a term sheet for the long-term supply of battery-grade nickel sulfate from Vale’s proposed plant at Bécancour, Québec, Canada.
This agreement secures GM a supply of nickel sulfate from a US free-trade partner to support its fast-growing electric vehicle production needs in North America. Under the terms of the agreement, Vale will supply battery-grade nickel sulfate, equivalent to 25,000 metric tons per year of contained nickel, for use in GM’s Ultium battery cathodes.
Just a few days later, GM announced plans to invest $45 million at its Bedford, Indiana aluminium die casting foundry. This investment will be used to expand the facility’s production capacity of electric vehicle drive unit castings.
This will be used to support the anticipated strong demand for the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV full-size pickups. The company said the capacity expansion work at the facility will begin immediately.
GM rounded out their year with the news that Michael Simcoe, vice president of Global Design, will be promoted to senior vice president of Global Design, effective January 1. This move signifies the continued emphasis on design as GM accelerates its transformation to an all-electric future.