General Motors Co. in Detroit and GE Renewable Energy in Paris today announced they have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate opportunities to improve supplies of heavy and light rare earth materials and magnets, copper, and electrical steel used for manufacturing electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be to create 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 in the manufacturing of electric motors for automotive 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,” says 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.”
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.
As part of the agreement, the companies will also evaluate potential cooperation to support the development of new technologies and processes for both automotive and renewable power generation applications.
GM and GE Renewable Energy will also look to collaboratively engage from a public policy perspective, together with other co-sourcing partners, to seek policies that support the establishment of secure North American and European supply chains.
“At GE Renewable Energy, 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,” says Danielle Merfeld, CTO at GE Renewable Energy.
“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 U.S. and further reduce CO2 emissions.”