Controlled Thermal Resources
Thermal mud pits at Controlled Thermal Resources’ project site at the Salton Sea, in California. The Hell’s Kitchen project will recover lithium from geothermal brines, using renewable energy and steam to produce battery-grade lithium.

Stellantis Ups Its Stake in California Lithium Project

Aug. 18, 2023
An investment of more than $100 million in a geothermal lithium refining project will increase the automaker’s takeaway for EV battery-grade material to 65,000 metric tons/year.

Stellantis is making a $100 million+ investment in Controlled Thermal Resources, the developer of a high-profile, geothermal lithium project in California, and increased its anticipated take of battery-grade lithium metal from CTR.

The news follows a 10-year agreement Stellantis struck with CTR last year for an annual supply of lithium-hydroxide monohydrate starting in 2027, for its own electric-vehicle battery production.

Now, the automaker expects to receive up to 65,000 metric tons/year of that material from CTR, which will be critical to providing the resources it needs to produce fuel for its future EV portfolio.

Stellantis has committed to offer only EV passenger cars in Europe by 2030, and that 50% of its North American passenger cars and light-duty trucks will be EV products by that date. It aims to secure supplies for approximately 400 GWh of battery capacity, with six battery manufacturing plants in North America and Europe.

“The foundation of our industry-leading decarbonization drive includes low-emissions production and sustainable supply as the building blocks for our electric vehicles,” according to a statement by Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. “The latest agreement with CTR is an important step in our care for our customers and our planet as we work to provide clean, safe, and affordable mobility in North America.”

CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen development at California’s Salton Sea is described as “the world’s largest geothermal lithium project,” with total resource capacity for up to 300,000 metric tons/year of lithium-carbonate equivalent.

The Hell’s Kitchen project will recover lithium from geothermal brines, using renewable energy and steam to produce battery-grade lithium. The process will eliminate the need for evaporation brine ponds, open pit mines, and fossil-fueled lithium processing.

Rival General Motors previously invested in CTR as a source of battery-grade lithium.

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