GM is building a new plant for electric vehicle battery components in Canada

General Motors is expanding its partnership with South Korea’s Posco Chemical, building a $400 million plant in Quebec to produce components for its Ultium EV batteries.

GM is already in a joint venture to produce the cathode active materials used for battery production with Posco.

the companies are already working together supporting the Lordstown, Ohio Ultium plant. This agreement was announced at the beginning of December and Posco is the majority shareholder.

This company produces the cathode active materials, or CAMs, for EV batteries. CAMs represent approximately 40% of the cost of a battery cell. The new venture, which is expected to be operational by 2024, will provide GM with four new Ultium battery factories in North America.

The Quebec-based entity will produce CAMs for the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, GM said in a statement.

Add power to build power

GM wireless battery management technology
The Ultium platform is the foundation of GM’s EV strategy, including battery cells, modules and pack.

Construction of the new facility, which the joint venture will operate, is should start immediately. GM says it will create around 200 jobs, although the plant is designed to allow for future expansion opportunities as GM continues to pursue many potential electric vehicle supply chain projects.

It will supply components to other facilities, including the company’s recently announced new battery plant in Lansing, Michigan, as part of a $7 billion electric vehicle-based investment effort. in Michigan.

“GM and our supplier partners are creating a new, safer and more sustainable ecosystem for electric vehicles, based on North American resources, technology and manufacturing expertise,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Development. of Global Products, Purchasing and Supply Chain.

“Canada plays an important role in our all-electric future, and we are grateful for the strong support we have received from local, provincial and national authorities to develop a North American-focused electric vehicle value chain.

Essential to reduce costs

GM EV Supply Chain Chart

GM’s push to have more than 30 electric vehicles on the road by 2030 requires an effort to reduce the cost of batteries. Part of that comes from economies of scale. The company plans to have four US-based Ultium factories capable of producing batteries for 1 million vehicles per year by the end of 2025.

GM has identified the location of three of the plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Spring Hill, TN; and Lansing. The fourth site has not yet been identified. As mentioned, the new plant in Bécancour, Quebec will supply CAM to several sites.

  • It’s also part of GM’s plans to organize its supplier base to ensure it has the materials it needs when needed, in hopes of avoiding a repeat of the current shortage of semi- drivers. These additions include:
  • Lithium with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to secure the lithium produced by the first stage of its Hell’s Kitchen project in California.
  • Rare earth materials with GE, to develop a rare earth value chain.
  • Alloy flakes with MP Materials, which will establish the first North American alloy flake processing site. The company will then expand into magnet manufacturing around 2025 at its new production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Permanent Magnets with VAC, the largest producer of permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere with nearly 100 years of experience. VAC will establish a footprint in North America to meet GM’s magnet needs from 2024, including locally sourced raw materials and production of finished magnets.

Competitors like Ford, Stellantis and others have all recently made announcements about forming partnerships to ensure its battery supplies aren’t disrupted.