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Batteries

GM & Lithion Announce an Investment & Strategic Partnership Agreement to Pursue a Circular EV Battery Ecosystem

Normally, it’s us EV enthusiasts and EV media who have to debunk all of the FUD. “The grid can’t handle EVs!” they say. “Batteries are toxic, and you can’t recycle them!” they go to next. In the past, we’ve had to look at how things would work in theory, and what answers the future holds. Now, the car manufacturers themselves are filling in these blanks and taking concrete steps toward implementing the solutions to all of the FUD.

GM Ventures, the automaker’s investment arm, has made a significant investment in Lithion’s Series A financing round, assisting a new GM–Lithion strategic partnership agreement to pursue a circular battery ecosystem utilizing Lithion’s cutting-edge battery recycling technology.

This partnership between GM and Lithion involve the following:

  • Lithion’s recovered battery materials will be validated for use in the manufacturing of new batteries, and the company is exploring the possibility of obtaining battery supplies.
  • Both recycling processes and the recyclability of future battery design will require additional investment in research and development.

Lithion uses Québec’s green energy, with a recovery rate of over 95 percent. This results in reductions in greenhouse gases of more than 75% and reductions in water usage of more than 90%, according to a third-party lifecycle analysis.

“Working with GM marks a key step in Lithion’s commercial development and pioneers a needed breakthrough in the electrification of transportation by enabling a cost-effective and sustainable circularity in the EV battery industry,” said Benoit Couture, president and CEO of Lithion. “This partnership underscores our commitment to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy amidst the fight against climate change.”

In August, Ultium Cells, the GM–LG Energy Solution venture’s first US battery cell plant, opened in Arizona. Another two plants are under construction. The fourth planned battery cell factory will bring GM’s projected total US battery capacity to 160 GWh by 2025. GM now has contracts in place that ensure it will have enough lithium, nickel, cobalt, and full cathode active material to produce annual planned capacity throughout 2025, as well as all other battery raw materials. To further localize its battery ingredient supply chain in North America, GM will continue working to decrease dependence on China for supplies.

In 2023, Lithion will begin commercial recycling operations based on data from its successful industrial-scale demonstration plant, which began operations in January 2020. The opening of this facility, with a capacity of 7500 metric tons per year of lithium-ion batteries, will be followed in 2025 by the launch of Lithion’s first hydrometallurgical plant. In line with its ambition to advance global battery end-of-life management quickly, Lithion has several projects in the works for the United States, Europe, and Korea.

“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,” said Jeff Morrison, GM Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “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.”

This news, like all of the other news that proves them wrong, isn’t going to stop the FUDsters. They’ll just ignore this progress and keep peddling their lies about EVs. But, reasonable people who want the facts are going to have a harder and harder time being fooled by the FUDsters the more things like this happen.

Featured image provided by Aptera.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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