The growing number of electric vehicles has caused a surge in demand for rare earth metals required to manufacture strong magnets. However, it’s not the rarity of these metals but the complex extraction method that limits the number of suppliers.
General Motors has still found a way to overcome the issue and the future of electric vehicles looks quite promising. Read more to learn about the future venture of General Motors sourcing rare earth metals.
What Are Rare Earth Metals?
Rare earth metals are in the middle groups of the periodic table. While these metals possess various qualities, their magnetic properties make them attractive and sought-after.
Due to these magnetic properties, the rare earth magnets made from the alloy of these metals are powerful. Therefore, these magnets are widely sought for powering electric motors.
The transformation of electricity into mechanical energy in electric motors takes place due to these rare earth magnets. These magnets are primarily made from neodymium.
What Is Known About The Deal Between GM And MP Materials?
China is the most prominent supplier of neodymium, where the mining and processing of the element take place on a commercial level. However, the growing political tension between the US and China poses a massive threat to the supply of this element.
Therefore, General Motors has shaken hands with MP Materials, a mining company based in Las Vegas. General Motors has also elaborated on the reason for choosing MP Materials.
The company is situated in a perfect location in Mountain Pass, California, known for its abundant rare earth metal sources. Therefore, local mining and processing will make sourcing these elements helpful.
Moreover, GM plans to build a separate facility in Texas where the work for transforming the raw materials into magnets will take place. This plant will begin production by 2024.
What Plans GM Holds For The Future
While there are various plans GM has for its future, one of the most significant ones is going all-electric by 2040. To make this plan succeed, the company requires millions of EVs on the road, which requires an abundant supply of locally sourced rare earth metals.
Therefore, GM has painted a positive picture of sourcing all the rare earth metals locally by 2025. The renowned automobile company has also promised to construct several new factories for the smooth production of electric vehicles.
It will spend over $4 billion on this construction project. Furthermore, the company has sealed the deal with a lithium sourcing company as the element is well-used in electric batteries.
GM is also serious about R&D on making electric cars sustainable and accessible to all in the future. Therefore, it has also announced the construction of a research facility in Michigan to study how electric batteries can be used for a stable power supply.
General Motors has been leading the automobile realm for ages because of its dedication to keeping up with the time and introducing new trends where needed. Considering there is healthy technological competition in automobiles, the future looks promising for the masses.