The semiconductor supply shortage that impacted the global economy and caused widespread supply chain issues throughout 2021 and beyond underscores the importance of strategically evaluating every level and tier of our supply chain.
This is especially important as it relates to our expanding EV programs, where improving visibility and traceability in the supply chain is critical.
GM is prioritizing development of a resilient and sustainable supply chain of raw materials to manufacture our battery chemistry, which requires cobalt, battery-grade nickel and lithium, as well as other minerals. We are proactively and aggressively pursuing responsibly sourced materials at strategic tiers of the supply chain and exploring where investment and partnerships can yield benefits and untapped value that lowers costs of advanced technologies. In 2021, we have advanced several initiatives, including:
- A strategic supplier agreement with Wolfspeed, Inc. to develop and provide silicon carbide power device solutions for GM’s EV programs. The devices are expected to enable more efficient EV propulsion systems to extend EV range.
- A nonbinding Memorandum of Understanding with GE Renewable Energy to evaluate opportunities to improve supplies of heavy and light rare earth materials and magnets, as well as copper and electrical steel, used in manufacturing of both EVs and equipment that generates renewable energy for electricity. The initial focus of the collaboration will be on creating a North America and Europe based supply chain of vertically integrated magnet manufacturing that both companies will use in the future. Metal alloys and finished magnets produced from rare earth materials are critical components used in manufacturing electric motors for automotive and renewable power generation.
The companies will also work together to help establish new supply chains for additional materials, such as copper and eSteel, that are used in automotive traction motors and renewable power generation.
- A strategic relationship and commercial collaboration with Controlled Thermal Resources to support development of U.S.-sourced, low-cost lithium from the Salton Sea area of California. The lithium will be produced through a closed-loop, direct extraction process that results in a smaller physical footprint, no production tailing and near-zero carbon dioxide emissions when compared to traditional processes such as pit mining or evaporation ponds.
- A long-term supply agreement with MP Materials, the owner of America’s only active and scaled rare earth production site in California. GM has agreed to support MP Materials’ efforts to become a vertically integrated, technically qualified and approved North American manufacturer of advanced magnets.
- GM and POSCO Chemical have agreed to create a joint venture to build a factory in North America to manufacture Cathode Active Material (CAM), a key battery material that is the most significant determinant of cell costs, quality and performance. GM and POSCO share a vision and are leveraging our combined experience, scale and expertise to develop a sustainable, ethically sourced and competitive supply chain for CAM inputs to support the launch of a North American CAM manufacturing facility.