GM, POSCO Future M to Expand North America’s EV Battery Supply

by | Jun 5, 2023


An electric vehicle plugged in to a charging station.

Car manufacturer General Motors and POSCO Future M, an advanced materials company, have kickstarted the second phase of their Ultium Cathode Active Material (CAM) joint venture, which will integrate precursor materials production and increase the production capacity of CAM in North America.

The new investment will expand the Ultium CAM venture and is projected to exceed $1 billion, which includes an additional CAM and a preliminary facility for processing critical minerals locally and on-site. Ultium CAM will support the production of approximately 360,000 vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and BrightDrop names annually in North America during the 2025-2030 timeframe.

Precursor CAM (pCAM), an engineered combination of processed raw materials, is necessary to produce Cathode Active Material (CAM), a battery material that represents around 40% of the cost of a battery cell. The EV Metals Group says CAM is an important component in determining the performance, efficiency, reliability, costs, durability, and size of the lithium-ion battery.

Increasing the production capacity of CAM and adding pCAM to GM’s joint venture will help create a more secure and sustainable supply chain, focused in North America, to support the company’s growing EV production needs, said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain.

GM plans to install 1 million units of annual electric vehicle (EV) capacity in North America in 2025, which will be supported by four battery cell joint venture plants in the United States with 160-gigawatt hours of capacity.

Parks said following the establishment of battery cell production in the U.S., the company has been working through the battery supply chain, all the way to raw material recovery. He said the company is increasing levels of vertical integration and driving expanded investment.

Kim Joon-Hyung, president of POSCO Future M., said the EV battery materials market across North America is rapidly growing, and the company aims to play a key role in the eco-friendly mobility market with its products. He said the joint venture will fortify its position in the secondary battery material industry with this decision to increase production of CAM and bring pCAM production to North America.

The processing of CAM and pCAM is currently highly concentrated in Asia. The Ultium CAM joint venture was established by the companies in July 2022, with the majority owned by POSCO Future M. Site selection will be announced at a future date.

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