General Motors (GM) and General Electric (GE) are partnering on improving supplies of rare earth materials vital to manufacturing electric vehicles.
GM signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with GE Renewable Energy to “evaluate opportunities to improve supplies of heavy and light rare earth materials and magnets, copper and electrical steel,” the companies said in a joint statement.
GM and GE Renewable Energy said they would initially focus on creating a North America- and Europe-based supply chain of magnet manufacturing, noting that metal alloys and finished moments produced from rare earth materials are important for manufacturing electric motors for automotive and renewable power generation.
The companies also said they would work together to establish supply chains for materials used in automotive traction motors and renewable power generation, including cooper.
Further, the companies will evaluate “potential cooperation to support the development of new technologies and processes for both automotive and renewable power generation applications.”
GE Renewable Energy’s chief technology officer, Danielle Merfeld, said in a statement that 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.”
The announcement comes a day after GM announced that it was building a new facility in Warren, Mich., to develop technologies that could help lower the cost of producing batteries for electric vehicles by 60 percent. The facility is expected to be completed by mid-2022.