- General Motors will partner with Lithion Recycling to use Lithion’s advanced battery recycling technology, the automaker announced this week.
- The partnership, funded by GM’s investment arm, GM Ventures, will focus on validating recovered battery materials for new production, as well as R&D for existing recycling processes and recycling of future battery designs.
- Canada-based Lithion’s first commercial recycling plant is slated to open next year, with production capacity up to 7,500 metric tons per year of lithium-ion batteries, according to the release. A metal extraction plant is scheduled to open in 2025.
As EV sales continue to rise across the country, batteries will begin to make up more of the recycling stream.
By 2050, reclaimed battery materials could supply nearly half of the cobalt and nickel needed for light to heavy-duty EV vehicles in the U.S., as well as more than a quarter of lithium, according to study last year by the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling.
Automakers have begun to tap this growing supply source, forming partnerships with battery recyclers to reduce waste and tackle material constraints.
In July, Volkswagen partnered with battery recycler Redwood Materials to recycle all batteries from Volkswagen and Audi EVs in the U.S. Volkswagen is aiming to reach 55% electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.
GM has worked to ramp up battery cell production to reach its goal of producing more than 1 million EVs per year by 2050. The automaker formed a joint venture with LG Energy Solutions to open its first U.S. battery cell plant in Ohio in August. The joint venture, called Ultium Cells, also partnered with Li-Cycle earlier this year to recycle up to 100% of the battery cell scrap at the Ohio plant.
“We plan to eliminate tailpipe emissions from all our new light-duty vehicles by 2035 – so we are building a supply chain and recycling strategy that can grow with us,” Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement.