General Motors and POSCO Chemical will build a $500 million facility in Becancour, Que., to produce cathode active material (CAM), an integral component of electric-car batteries.
The material will be used in GM’s Ultium batteries which will power its electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV, and Cadillac LYRIQ.
The companies has previously announced plans to form a CAM processing joint venture in December 2021, majority owned by POSCO Chemical. Construction on the new facility, which the joint venture will operate, will begin immediately and will create approximately 200 jobs. The site’s construction will allow for future expansion opportunities as GM continues to pursue many potential future EV supply chain projects.
Given the supply chain challenges of the past two years, GM and its supplier partners are looking to create a more secure and sustainable ecosystem for EVs, “built on a foundation of North American resources, technology and manufacturing expertise,” said Doug Parks, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
“Canada is playing an important role in our all-electric future,” Parks added in acknowledging the “strong support” received from local, provincial and national officials to grow a North American-focused EV value chain.
“It is so exciting to see GM Canada and Quebec playing a key role in building the emerging ‘mines to mobility’ EV battery ecosystem in North America,” said Scott Bell, president and managing director, GM Canada. “With this new processing facility in Bécancour, GM will help lead the EV battery supply chain while also launching Canada’s first full EV manufacturing plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, later this year.”
By the end of 2025, GM plans to have capacity to build 1 million electric vehicles in North America, and the company targets the majority of components by value to be sustainably sourced, processed or manufactured in North America.
Canada ranks fourth in the world for electric vehicle raw materials, according to Invest in Canada, and is expected to rise to third by 2025. This places Canada in an “enviable” position, according to federal industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne. The car of the future should not only be electric but its production should be environmentally sustainable, Champagne said, pointing out that it doesn’t make much sense to, for example, export minerals from Africa, refine them in Asia and produce batteries using coal powered plants.