General Motors (GM) and Livent enter long-term agreement for Lithium Hydroxide used in its electric vehicle (EV) batteries

General Motors (GM) and Livent have announced a multi-year sourcing agreement in which Livent will supply GM 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 (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.

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Livent will provide battery-grade lithium hydroxide to GM over six years beginning in 2025. Throughout the agreement, Livent will increasingly supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to GM from its manufacturing facilities in the US, with the goal to transition 100 percent 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.

Jeff Morrison, GM vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, said: “We are building a strong, sustainable, scalable and secure supply chain to help meet our fast-growing EV production needs.

“We will further localise the lithium supply chain in North America over the course of the agreement. In addition, it is aligned with our approach to responsible sourcing and supply chain management and demonstrates our commitment to strong supplier relationships.

“Importantly, GM now has contractual commitments secured with strategic partners for all battery raw material to support our goal of one million units of EV capacity by the end of 2025.”

This partnership is yet another involving GM which is investing heavily in its electric future. Last year, the company announced it was accelerating its engineering and capital investments in electric vehicles and self-driving technology (AVs) by $8 billion to $35 billion from 2020-2025.

The company also announced an investment of $7 billion (£5.2 billion/€6.3 billion) in four Michigan manufacturing sites to significantly increase battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity. The investment alone will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 staff.

GM is also seen as a leading automaker in the US when it comes to electric vehicles after it was announced that the US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) plans to loan $2.5 billion towards a joint venture between General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solution. This is to help finance the construction of new electric vehicle (EV) battery cell manufacturing facilities in the US. 

Paul Graves, Livent CEO and president, said: “We are excited to begin this long-term relationship with GM, one of the most iconic brands in the automotive industry and a leading force in the transition to electrification. 

“With a shared commitment to sustainability and responsible operations, we look forward to building a broad partnership that will support GM’s electric vehicle strategy, its supply chain goals and the future requirements of its growing EV fleet for reliable, high-performance lithium products.”  

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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