General Motors Co. committed more than $1 billion in new capital investments for its Ultium CAM joint venture, aiming to increase the North American output of chemicals that are critical to production of lithium-ion batteries. The specific amount to be invested was not indicated, and the North American location of the Ultium CAM operation has not been announced.
GM and its majority partner Posco Future M formed Ultium CAM last July to produce cathode active materials (CAM), which are high-purity metals (e.g., aluminum, cobalt, manganese, nickel) that are paired with lithium to achieve different performance objectives for electric vehicle batteries.
Posco Future M, a part of South Korea’s POSCO Group, produce high-capacity Ni-rich cathode materials and low-expansion anode materials for EV batteries. The joint venture, Ultium CAM, will be a supplier to a separate GM joint venture, Ultium Cells LLC, which manufactures EV battery cells.
Ultium CAM’s output, called pCAM, is a “specifically engineered combination of processed raw materials necessary to produce CAM, a key battery material representing about 40% of the cost of a battery cell.”
“Increasing CAM production capacity and adding pCAM to our joint venture is another significant step in building a more secure and sustainable North America-focused supply chain to support GM’s fast-growing EV production needs,” stated GM EVP Doug Parks.
“We started by establishing battery cell production in the U.S.,” Parks added. “From there, we have been working through the entire battery supply chain, all the way to raw material recovery. We’re building higher levels of vertical integration, driving expanded investment and helping create jobs across North America.”
GM aims to establish annual production capacity for 1 million EVs in North America in 2025, across all of its car, truck, and commercial vehicle platforms, which will be supported by four joint-venture battery cell plants, with 160 GWh of capacity.