POSCO Future M and General Motors (GM) are joining forces to bolster the battery materials supply chain in North America through a new investment initiative. The two companies revealed their intention to increase the production capacity of Cathode Active Material (CAM) at Ultium CAM, their joint venture located in North America. Additionally, they plan to integrate additional Precursor CAM (pCAM) capacity into their operations. The project is slated for completion by 2026.
To support GM's surging demand for electric vehicle (EV) production, the joint venture and Ultium Cells have entered into a binding agreement for a large-scale supply of CAM. This investment primarily focuses on augmenting the production capacity of CAM and enhancing supply chains by localizing pCAM processing in North America. pCAM comprises processed raw materials necessary for CAM production, which represents a significant portion of the cost of a battery cell. Currently, CAM and pCAM processing are predominantly concentrated in Asia.
POSCO Future M established Ultium CAM in partnership with GM, a global automaker, in July 2022. The joint venture is actively constructing a CAM plant, with the goal of completing it by 2024. By expanding its global mass production base in South Korea to key EV markets such as North America, China, and Europe, POSCO Future M aims to secure a substantial CAM production capacity in North America.
GM is executing plans to install 1 million units of annual EV capacity in North America by 2025, supported by four U.S. battery cell joint venture plants with a combined capacity of 160GWh. The Ultium CAM joint venture will contribute to the production of approximately 360,000 Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick, and BrightDrop vehicles annually in North America between 2025 and 2030.
Doug Parks, GM's Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, expressed the significance of increasing CAM production capacity and incorporating pCAM into the joint venture. He emphasized the commitment to building a secure and sustainable supply chain in North America to meet the rapidly growing EV production needs of GM. The company has been working to establish battery cell production in the U.S. and is actively involved in the entire battery supply chain, including raw material recovery. This pursuit of vertical integration aims to drive increased investment and job creation across North America.
Kim Joon-Hyung, President of POSCO Future M, acknowledged the flourishing EV battery materials market in North America and emphasized the joint venture's proactive decision to expand CAM production and introduce pCAM production in the region. Supported by GM's expanding partnership, POSCO Future M is leveraging its advanced technology and experience to play a vital role in the eco-friendly mobility market.