Energy Exploration Technologies Inc. (EnergyX) and General Motors Co. announced that GM Ventures is leading a $50 million Series B financing round in EnergyX and has entered into a strategic agreement to develop EnergyX’s lithium extraction and refinery technology.
The collaboration is focused on the North American supply of lithium, a material for EV batteries, by using EnergyX’s process to maximize efficiency while improving sustainability for GM’s scaling EV production.
EnergyX’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology portfolio can make lithium metal directly from brine and potentially in anode-ready form for EV batteries.
GM added that it is investing in every stage of the battery supply chain in North America, from raw materials to processing, to cell components and full battery cell production.
What Does the GM & EnergyX Collaboration Include?
The collaboration between these two companies includes three components:
- A technology development program to support the commercialization of EnergyX’s DLE and refinery processes, which could complement or replace traditional methods of evaporation ponds.
- An agreement enabling GM to access competitive lithium offtakes for GM’s use in EV production, including material sourced from North and South American mining companies contracted by EnergyX.
- Additional strategic financing for lithium production projects in North and South America, using EnergyX’s technology to drive potential supply chain opportunities for GM.
“The EnergyX team of scientists and engineers have worked relentlessly for five years developing DLE technology to solve the immense bottlenecks that have limited global lithium production and supply chain,” said Teague Egan, CEO of EnergyX, in a news release. “This single bottleneck (a massive lithium shortage) is the biggest challenge to scaling EV production. We will unlock lithium supply in the U.S., a pivotal move in expanding the EV industry."
In 2022, EnergyX’s LiTAS technology increases lithium recovery rates to over 90% from the industry standard of 30-40% using ponds and hit 94% during their field trials. After a successful five-month pilot program proving the efficacy of the LiTAS lithium refinery process, EnergyX will scale those systems to market demonstration plants located at five regional test beds in North and South America, followed by full-scale commercialization.
Jeff Morrison, GM VP of global purchasing and supply chain, added, “EnergyX is developing a novel direct lithium extraction process that’s not only cost competitive but also will reduce energy, land, and water usage as compared to the current extraction and processing process for brine-based lithium."