General Motors and GE Renewable Energy announced they had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to evaluate opportunities to improve supplies of heavy and light rare earth materials and magnets, copper and electrical steel used for manufacturing of electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be on creating a North America- and Europe-based supply chain of vertically integrated magnet manufacturing that both companies will use in the future. Metal alloys and finished magnets produced from rare earth materials are critical components used in manufacturing electric motors for automotive and renewable power generation.
The companies will also work together to help establish new supply chains for additional materials, such as copper and eSteel, that are used in automotive traction motors and renewable power generation.
“A secure, sustainable and resilient local supply chain for electric vehicle materials is critical to the execution of GM’s vision of an all-electric future,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president for global purchasing and supply chain. “Motors are one of the most important components of our Ultium Platform, and the heavy and light rare earth materials are an essential ingredient in our motor magnets. The combined scale of GM and GE will enable us to unlock the potential for securing low-carbon footprint, ESG-friendly, secure and cost competitive materials.”
GE Renewable Energy CTO Danielle Merfeld said, “We constantly innovate, both through our products like the Haliade-X, the most powerful offshore wind turbine built today, as well as by developing strategic collaborations that can help us accelerate the energy transition. Working with GM gives us another tool to obtain a reliable, sustainable, and competitive source of key materials going forward that will help us lower the cost of renewable energy and drive more electrification by making EVs a more viable option for consumers. We are also excited to partner with GM to explore opportunities to develop critical supply chains in the US and further reduce CO2 emissions.”
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As a part of the agreement, GM and GE Renewable Energy will also evaluate potential cooperation to support the development of new technology and processes for both automotive and renewable power generation applications.
In addition, GM and GE Renewable Energy will look to collaboratively engage from a public policy perspective, together with other co-sourcing partners, to seek policies that are supportive of the establishment of secure, North American and European based supply chains for rare earth, copper and electrical steel materials needed to support electric vehicle and renewable power generation growth.