DETROIT, Michigan: General Motors is currently working on cutting the cost of electric vehicle batteries, as well as their reliance on price-sensitive metals, such as cobalt, President Mark Reuss said during a recent investor conference.
GM is exploring new manufacturing processes, materials, and technologies, including silicon-rich and lithium metal anodes, solid state and high voltage electrolytes, and dry processing of electrodes for its next generation of Ultium batteries, according to Reuss, as quoted by Reuters.
"The supply chain is going to explode" as demand for cobalt, nickel, and other metals surges once GM and other automakers scale up EV production in the next five years, said Reuss.
GM is "looking for breakthroughs" in order to "reduce dependency on some of those metals", he added.
GM is aiming to slash the cost of its battery cells to under $100 per kilowatt-hour by 2025, from over $150/kW currently.
It is also trying to increase the driving range of future EV batteries to 480 to 580 miles between charges so batteries last for a million miles or more, according to executives.
GM is scheduled to start production of Ultium battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio, in 2022 under a $2.3-billion joint venture with Korea's LG Energy Solution.
The batteries, which will use graphite-based anodes, nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) cathodes and liquid electrolyte will be used in electric vehicles, such as the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq.
GM and LG are also discussing the construction of a second EV battery plant in Tennessee, as part of the automaker's push to produce 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2025.
Commenting on GM's investment in and technology partnership with Massachusetts-based battery startup SES, Reuss said GM is "open to different partnerships and different technologies" as it works to slash battery costs and improve energy density to increase electric vehicle range.