A binding agreement with LG Chem provides for the supply of cathode active material (CAM). According to it, LG Chem must supply General Motors with more than 950,000 tons of CAM from mid-2022 to 2030. GM also signed a long-term lithium hydroxide supply agreement with Livent. Under the agreement, Livent will supply GM with battery material for six years starting in 2025. It will be supplied from Livent's facilities in South America and will be used in GM Ultium battery cathodes.
The contracted cathode material will be used by Ultium Cells, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solutions, at its battery manufacturing plants in Warren, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan, according to the statement. This is expected to be enough to produce about five million electric vehicles. At the same time, both companies plan to explore the possibility of building a CAM plant in North America before the end of 2025. However, the details of this are not given in the announcement.
According to Jeff Morrison, GM's vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, LG Chem has demonstrated the technical know-how, high quality, and mass production capability of cathode active materials over the past decade. The materials technology used aluminum "to improve stability while reducing the amount of cobalt used in previous generation GM batteries by 70 percent."
GM now has contractual commitments with strategic partners for all battery raw materials “to support our goal of one million electric vehicles by the end of 2025,” adds Morrison.