- GM is investing in lithium producer Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. as part of a new supply deal between the two companies.
- The U.S. lithium company, known as EnergyX, will provide GM with exclusive lithium supply from its contracted mining companies in North America and South America, according to a press release. GM will also finance additional lithium production projects on the two continents.
- The two companies will also collaborate to commercialize EnergyX's direct lithium extraction technology, which the producer claims is more cost-effective and sustainable and will lead to a new lithium supply chain in North America.
GM’s investment was part of a $50 million funding round for EnergyX, though the automaker did not disclose the value of its funding to the startup.
EnergyX is currently building a 40,000-square-foot innovation and manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, and has plans to grow its workforce to 100 people in the coming months, according to the release.
"We are committed to securing EV critical minerals that are sustainable and cost competitive to maintain our leadership position among automakers,” Jeff Morrison, GM vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement.
With its new investment, GM is adding to its portfolio of lithium suppliers and widening its mine access. The EnergyX deal is the automaker's second major lithium investment this year alone.
In January, the company announced plans to invest $650 million in Canada-based lithium mining specialist Lithium Americas, which included a partnership to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada.
Automakers have spent the past year globetrotting to secure battery material suppliers. Last summer, GM signed three separate supplier agreements with mineral producers LG Chem, POSCO Chemical and Livent for key materials including lithium, nickel, cobalt and cathode active material.
Rival Ford followed a similar playbook, expanding its own sourcing pool across North America, Asia and South America.
The two competitors are continuing to use comparable tactics to bolster their EV and battery supplies. In late March, Ford announced its investment in an Indonesia-based nickel processing facility to procure the material for its battery production needs.