GM invests in battery recycling company

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

GM Ventures, General Motors Co.'s investment arm, has made a strategic investment in Canada-based Lithion Recycling Inc.'s Series A financing round to support a new strategic partnership between the companies.

The partnership will focus on validating Lithion's recovered battery materials for new batteries and include a joint investment in R&D for recycling processes and the recyclability of future battery design.

Photo of the new GM Logo atop the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

Experts say battery recycling is essential for the electric-vehicle transition since the raw materials needed aren't available to meet expected demand. Automakers have made partnerships with battery recyclers to reduce waste and alleviate stress on the supply chain, which will aid in the effort to lower EV production costs.

Lithion says its technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 75% and water usage by more than 90% compared to mining battery materials.

President and CEO of Lithion Benoit Couture said in a statement that "working with GM marks a key step in Lithion's commercial development and pioneers a needed breakthrough in the electrification of transportation by enabling a cost-effective and sustainable circularity in the EV battery industry."

In 2023, Lithion will open its first commercial recycling operations with a capacity of 7,500 metric tons per year of lithium-ion batteries. The company has plans for multiple facilities in the U.S., Europe and Korea.

GM and battery cell manufacturing partner LG Energy Solution, through their joint venture Ultium Cells LLC, are partnering with Li-Cycle to recycle battery cell scrap at the Ultium facility in northeast Ohio. Li-Cycle says it can recycle up to 100% of the scrap at the Ultium plant.