US Automakers Must Secure Lithium
Dear Shareholders & Friends,
It is well-publicized that Chinese and European car manufacturers are setting ambitious targets for the electrification of their vehicle fleets; however, their American counterparts are now following suit. Like Volkswagen, General Motors, the largest American vehicle manufacturer, will only produce pure battery-electric vehicles (“BEVs”) and plug-in hybrids (“PHEVs”), cars that have larger lithium-ion batteries than first-generation “mild hybrids” which are to be abandoned.
In the next four years alone, GM plans to introduce 20 BEVs and PHEVs to the market. An electric pickup truck is expected to be unveiled as early as 2021. GM has agreed with the UAW, the union representing almost 50,000 of its workers, to invest $7 billion (6.3€ billion) in electrification in the coming years. Earlier this month GM and LG Chem, a South Korean battery cell manufacturer, announced a joint venture whereby they will invest $2.3 billion in an EV battery factory in Ohio. This factory is to have an initial capacity of 30 gigawatts which can be further expanded. This corresponds to the size of Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada, the largest production facility for car batteries to date.
Investments of $11 billion
The EV offensive is also gaining momentum at competitor Ford. By the end of 2022, a fully electric version of the world’s best-selling pickup truck, the F-150, will be on offer. Prototypes have already been sighted. In total, America’s second largest car manufacturer wants to invest $11 billion to rollout two dozen BEVs and PHEVs. The first fully electric vehicle will be an SUV inspired by the Ford Mustang, called the Mach-E.