Skip to main content

GM Invests in More Lithium as Important EVs Like the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado E are Coming to Market

The automaker is investing $50 million to make it easier to mine Lithium for batteries. The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado E is due out this spring and GM is determined to make sure it has battery, chip and EV supplies guaranteed for the future.

GM is investing $50 million in EnergyX to make it easier to mine Lithium for EV battery production. The investment will hopefully make GM’s EV production more sustainable and more affordable. Chevrolet will be debuting one of its most important vehicles, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, this spring. The Silverado EV the 2024 GMC Sierra EV are expected to be in incredible demand. GM and all of the automakers are still struggling to manage the semiconductor chip shortage. They need to make sure that Lithium is available to meet the increasing EV Ultium Lithium battery needs.

What the GM and EnergyX Agreement Will do

GM and EnergyX and have entered into a strategic agreement to develop EnergyX's lithium extraction and refinery technology. EnergyX has developed a way to make lithium metal directly from brine for EV batteries. If it works on a grand scale, it could help make batteries more cost-effective. It also could help the companies recover lithium that otherwise they couldn’t use.

GM is investing in every step of the battery supply chain in North America, from raw materials, to processing, to cell components and full battery cell production. All of the automakers were severely affected by the chip shortage. GM has been very aggressive trying to guarantee its battery supplies for the future.

This $50 million dollar investment will help EnergyX refine its Lithium recovery technology. It will also guarantee GM access to the Lithium that EnergyX is able to recover from North and South American mining operations.

"The EnergyX team of scientists and engineers have worked relentlessly for five years developing cutting-edge DLE technology to solve the immense bottlenecks that have limited global lithium production and supply chain," said Teague Egan, CEO, EnergyX. "This single bottleneck (a massive lithium shortage) is the biggest challenge to scaling EV production. We will unlock lithium supply in the U.S., a pivotal move in expanding the EV industry. There are many ways of gauging success, but few are more rewarding than the support of leaders like GM. We're energized by GM's investment and will keep a 'Day 1' attitude as we pursue our goal of making EnergyX the biggest lithium company in the world."

"We are committed to securing EV critical minerals that are sustainable and cost competitive to maintain our leadership position among automakers," said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. "The investment in EnergyX is a further proof point of GM's leadership position. EnergyX is developing a novel direct lithium extraction process that's not only cost competitive but also will reduce energy, land and water usage as compared to the current extraction and processing process for brine-based lithium. We are excited to be partnered with EnergyX on their efforts."

Who is EnergyX?

In 2022, EnergyX became the first firm to design, build and commission a pilot plant in the Lithium Triangle, which encompasses over 65% of the known global lithium reserves. The company's LiTAS technology increases lithium recovery rates to over 90% from the current industry standard of 30-40% using ponds and hit 94% during their field trials. After a successful five-month pilot program proving the efficacy of the LiTAS lithium refinery process, EnergyX will expand those systems to bigger demonstration plants located at five regional test beds in North and South America, followed by full-scale commercialization.

EnergyX is building a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. It hopes to becomes one of the world leaders in DLE technology. EnergyX currently has over 50 employees and will increase that number to 100 in the coming months.

Chevrolet Photo

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.