GM partners with CTR to secure lower-cost lithium for next-generation EV batteries

GM partners with CTR to secure lower-cost lithium for next-generation EV batteries

Detroit, Michigan-headquartered automobile giant General Motors (GM) has announced a strategic commercial partnership with Controlled Thermal Resources Limited (CTR) to secure lower-cost lithium for the development of its next-generation EV batteries in the U.S.

CTR is a major player in lithium resource & renewable energy segment. It is in an advanced stage of developing a battery-grade direct lithium extraction & conversion facility, called Hell’s Kitchen Lithium Co. as well as a renewable energy power plant, called Hell’s Kitchen Power Co., in California’s Imperial Valley. According to the company’s claims, these upcoming facilities will set new environmental standards in terms of extraction and delivery of battery-grade lithium.

GM believes that its commercial collaboration with CTR will garner more environment-friendly methods of obtaining Lithium at significantly lower prices. Lithium plays a crucial part in the development of cathodes and electrolytes for EV batteries, and it remains a huge factor in the final costs of EVs themselves. Currently, most lithium for EV batteries is sourced from outside the US. It may be noted here that demand for batteries is on the rise and it will continue to soar in the years to come as governments around the globe are encouraging manufacturers as well as consumers to shift from conventional petrol/diesel-powered engines to EVs.
CTR, which expects to commence delivery of lithium from its first new facilities by 2024, said it was very pleased to establish a commercial strategic partnership with GM moving forward.

Rod Colwell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CTR, said, “We are very pleased to establish this strategic relationship with GM moving forward. GM has shown great initiative and a real forward-thinking strategy by securing and localizing a lithium supply chain while also considering the most effective methods to minimize environmental impacts.”

To extract lithium from Southern California’s Salton Sea, CTR will use a closed-loop extraction process rather than more conventional processes, such as pit mining or evaporation of ponds. The closed-loop direct process will be conducted with renewable power and steam, which will allow for a smaller physical footprint, negligible production tailing, and significantly lower carbon emissions.

CTR’s lithium resource at the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley of California is one of the biggest known lithium brine resources in the entire North America. The combination of direct closed-loop lithium extraction technology with renewable geothermal energy will offer the highest sustainability credentials available in the modern world.