Google Invests in AI Startup Runway to Wrest Cloud Business From AWSRead more

Cathode powder. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The Electric Flash Analysis: The Truth About GM’s New Battery Cathode Factory—It Will Rely on China

Photo: Cathode powder. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

General Motors on Wednesday framed its plan to build a North American plant to process battery metals for electric vehicles as a giant step toward supply chain independence.  

“We need to control our own destiny, especially when it comes to battery production. That’s why we’re pursuing a North America-focused vertical integration strategy for our proprietary platform,” said Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president for supply chain, in a call with reporters.

But the future plant, to be built in a joint venture with South Korean industrial giant Posco in an as-yet undisclosed location, will merely represent a baby step. If it opens in 2024 as planned, it will almost certainly feature a core flaw: a continued dependence on China. The new cathode plant will need to ship in chemical precursors from somewhere else and process them into nickel-manganese-cobalt-aluminum cathodes for GM’s Ultium batteries. That somewhere else is likely to be mostly China.

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Microsoft's Satya Nadella, left, and Peter Lee. Photo by Bloomberg, Microsoft
How Microsoft Swallowed Its Pride to Make a Massive Bet on OpenAI
Satya Nadella didn’t want to hear it. Last December, Peter Lee, who oversees Microsoft’s sprawling research efforts, was briefing Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, and his deputies about a series of tests Microsoft had conducted of GPT-4, the then-unreleased new artificial intelligence large-language model built by OpenAI.
Art by Clark Miller
The AI Age e-commerce ai
How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI Responses
When Andy Wilson’s company received its first successful client referral through ChatGPT, he was shaken to his core.
Chris Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime.
Exclusive startups Finance
Chime’s Slowdown Highlights Limits of Bank Disruptors
Chime found a way to offer zero-fee banking services without being a bank itself. But that approach is starting to show its limits.
Art by Clark Miller.
Exclusive startups crypto
MoonPay CEO, Other Executives Cashed Out Before Crypto Business Dropped
In November 2021, just as crypto prices were hitting all-time highs, MoonPay—a crypto payments startup that celebrities including Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton had praised for its non-fungible token “concierge” service— announced it had completed its first ever outside fundraising: an eye-popping $555 million round at a $3.4 billion valuation from investors including Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read markets Finance
The Master of Destruction Rides Again
In the spring of 2022, the irascible Wall Street short seller Marc Cohodes was in a particularly foul mood.
Art by Clark Miller.
Social Studies culture
The Day TikTok Went Dark in India
On June 29, 2020, as thunderstorms swept Mumbai and daily Covid-19 cases in India surged by almost 20,000, millions of people began experiencing a flood of network errors on their mobile devices.