SEOUL -- South Korea's major chemical company LG Chem secured a nine-year deal worth 25 trillion won ($18.8 billion) to supply key materials for electric vehicle batteries to General Motors. The global automaker will receive more than 500,000 tons of cathode materials, enough for over five million electric vehicles with a range of 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) on a single charge.
Along with anodes, cathodes are used to help the conduction of electricity through electrolyte materials. Demand for cathodes is rising thanks to the increased popularity of electric vehicles (EVs). Global market research firm TrendForce's data showed that the annual demand for cathodes is estimated to reach 2.15 million tons by 2025.
LG Chem said the company signed an agreement with General Motors (GM) to supply cathode materials worth 25 trillion won between 2026 and 2035. LG Chem's agreement with GM builds upon a 2022 commitment to long-term cathode material supply.
LG Chem plans to deliver NCMA cathode materials, an upgraded version of NCM containing nickel, cobalt, and manganese, from its Tennessee plant. With a high proportion of nickel, NCMA enables cost savings and extends the driving range for EVs. LG Chem expects the supplied NCMA will be used at Ultium Cells, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, the battery-making wing of LG Group. LG Chem's Tennessee factory is set to start mass production in 2026.
"By strengthening our strategic cooperation with GM, we will jointly lead the North American EV market to a sustainable future," LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said in a statement on February 7. "We aim to create unique customer value through world-class productivity and the expansion of our global production bases."
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