General Motors has announced another major step toward producing a more affordable electric vehicle that will be available to the masses.
GM is partnering with the startup Mitra Chem, which is working to create a battery with a more efficient charge. It will also hold more capacity using an iron-based cathode — the positive electrode in a battery. This would also extend the lifespan of a battery.
This is important because, as of now, most cathodes are made out of nickel or cobalt, which aren’t as plentiful as iron. Using iron-based cathodes is more sustainable as it eliminates the need for raw materials like nickel and cobalt.
The plan is to create cheaper, cleaner, and safer batteries that will be compatible with a range of future GM EV models, including everything from compact cars to work trucks, large SUVs, and performance vehicles. GM joins Toyota in the race to manufacture more sustainable and more efficient batteries.
This is big news as GM manufactures popular brands like Cadillac, GMC, and Buick and sold over 12 million vehicles over the last two years. Increasing the number of EVs on the road decreases the amount of harmful pollutants released into the atmosphere by roughly two-thirds.
This is GM’s latest move as it works to create a United States-focused battery supply chain. The company has already pledged to invest tens of billions of dollars in four battery factories in the U.S. and is working with South Korea’s Posco Chemical to build a $400 million battery materials plant in Canada.
“GM’s investment in Mitra Chem will not only help us develop affordable battery chemistries for use in GM vehicles,” Mitra Chem CEO and co-founder Vivas Kumar said in a statement, “but also will fuel our mission to develop, deploy, and commercialize U.S. made, iron-based cathode materials that can power EVs, grid-scale electrified energy storage and beyond.”
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