General Motors is partnering with a Canadian battery recycling company to produce new batteries from reclaimed battery materials as it aims to ramp up EV production in North America amid supply shortages and rising costs.
The automaker has invested through its GM Ventures division in a Series A funding round for Lithion Recycling, a developer of advanced battery recycling technology. Together, the two companies will work to create a circular EV battery recycling ecosystema critical bottleneck as the industry races to phase out gas engines at the end of the decade.
Until recently, global EV deployment has focused on building enough charging stations to support the wave of battery electric vehicles expected on the roads by 2030. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have halted global supply chains. supplies, making the raw materials used for batteries scarcer and more expensive.
GM and other automakers are pushing for greater supply control through on-board operations and bringing more of the battery life cycle in the house. About 15 million tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to end up in use by 2030, the deadline most automakers have set for phasing out gas-powered vehicles, according to AquaMetals.
Redwood materials has partnerships with Ford and Volvo, and a deal with Toyota to collect, refurbish and recycle batteries and battery materials to be sent to the automaker’s upcoming battery plant in North Carolina. The Nevada-based metal recycling company expects the battery recycling market to reach $18.7 billion by the end of the decade.
The partnership with Lithion will help GM build “a supply chain and recycling strategy that can grow with us,” Jeff Morrison, GM’s vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement.
“In Lithion’s technology, we see the opportunity to recover and reuse the raw material in our Ultium battery packs, making the EVs we produce even more sustainable and helping to reduce costs,” Morrison said.
Lithion plans to start its first commercial operations in 2023 with a capacity of 7,500 metric tons per year of lithium-ion batteries. Commissioning of Lithion’s first hydrometallurgical plant is planned for 2025.