American automaker General Motors Co said last week that it is testing out a variety of new technologies to cut costs of electric vehicles, including increasing the use of aluminium and aluminium alloys.
While speaking to an investor conference on Wednesday, GM President Mark Reuss said the firm continues to explore various technology solutions for its upcoming Ultium batteries, which it expects to introduce in about four years.
The new batteries are the result of a US$2.3 billion joint venture with LG Energy Solution of the Republic of Korea. The batteries are expected to have a cell cost of at least US$50/kW below currently prevailing market prices, have an operational life of at least one million miles, and last up to 600 miles between charges.
Among the directions GM is taking with its research include silicon-rich and lithium metal anodes, dry processing electrodes, and solid state and high voltage electrodes. Current plans have the battery utilizing graphite-based anodes, nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) cathodes, and a liquid electrolyte.
GM says it will use the battery in products including the Hummer EV and the Cadillac Lyriq. In order to meet the expected demand of 1 million electric vehicles per year by 2025, GM and LG are expected to soon announce plans for a second EV battery plant in Tennessee.
Reuss said that his firm continues to be open to new technologies and partnerships with different firms on EV batteries. He predicted a sharp rise in demand for various metals necessary for the production of such batteries, but GM continues to look for “breakthroughs” that would lessen its dependency on metals like cobalt and nickel.