Honda acquires $2.75bn stake in General Motors Cruise autonomous vehicle unit
The automotive giants, Honda, has announced it will invest $2.75bn and hold a 5.7% stake in General Motors’ (GM) Cruise autonomous vehicle unit, Reuters reports.
The company has agreed to pay $750mn in advance for the minority stake in Cruise and will also contribute another $2bn over the next 12 years.
As part of the deal, Honda, GM and Cruise will develop autonomous vehicles in a joint venture with the aim of deploying ride services fleets around the world.
In a media briefing on Wednesday (3rd October), GM President Dan Ammann announced that 2019 remains the target for GM Cruise to unveil an autonomous ride services fleet.
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“The longstanding relationship we have with Honda will allow us to move very quickly in ramping up our efforts.”
Honda executive Seiji Kuraishi commented: “This investment is based on a shared vision and GM’s and Cruise’s superior technologies in this area.”
In order to ensure companies don’t fall behind in developing new technology such as self-driving vehicles, other automakers are creating similar alliances.
It has been revealed that Ford and BMW expect to launch autonomous vehicles by 2021.
Following the news, GM’s shares rose 3.5% in opening trade.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.