General Motors (GM) and POSCO Future M have announced the second phase of their Ultium cathode active material (CAM) joint venture (JV) with an investment of more than $1bn in North America.

Both companies aim to increase the production of the battery component in the region and integrate precursor materials production.

The new investment involves an additional cathode active material and a precursor facility for local on-site processing of critical minerals. The site selection for the plant is expected to be announced later.

Precursor CAM (pCAM) is a specially developed combination of processed raw materials necessary to produce cathode active material. It is a significant battery material that accounts for nearly 40% of the cost of a battery cell, said General Motors.

The Ultium CAM JV is expected to support the production of around 360,000 Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, BrightDrop, and Buick vehicles annually in North America between 2025 and 2030.

General Motors is planning to deploy one million units of annual electric vehicle (EV) capacity in North America in 2025 and expand in the subsequent years.

It will be supported by four US battery cell JV plants with 160GWh of capacity.

General Motors purchasing and supply chain global product development executive vice president Doug Parks said: “Increasing CAM production capacity and adding pCAM to our joint venture is another significant step in building a more secure and sustainable North America-focused supply chain to support GM’s fast-growing EV production needs.”

General Motors and POSCO Future M established the Ultium CAM JV in July 2022 and the majority stake in it is owned by the latter.

POSCO Future M president Kim Joon-Hyung said: “I believe our joint venture will fortify its position in the secondary battery material industry with this proactive decision to increase CAM production and bring pCAM production to North America.

“POSCO Future M’s advanced technology and experience is supported by our expanding partnership with GM. We are aiming to play a key role in the eco-friendly mobility market with our products.”