General Motors Inc. is signaling it will reach further down the value chain to ensure it has the minerals it needs to become a major player in electric vehicles.
“We absolutely are convinced we need to have control of our own destiny when it comes to EV critical minerals,” Tanya Skilton, GM’s director of electric vehicle critical materials, said on an industry panel in Washington. “At times we have engaged, for example, with the steel industry, with steel mills in our history, but to go all the way down to mine sites is new and unique for us at this stage.”
Competition for the minerals needed for the energy transition, such as copper, lithium and cobalt, is becoming more fierce as supplies fall short of demand. It is forcing some automakers to change the way they source raw materials, going all the way down the value chain to procure metals directly from mines, a move that manufacturers historically avoided.
The auto industry traditionally left raw materials that come out of the ground to processors and equipment manufacturers.