Under the long-term agreement, Vale Canada will provide GM with battery-grade nickel sulfate, a key ingredient in EV battery cathodes, from a proposed plant in Becancour, Quebec.
The agreement with Vale is the latest in a series of GM deals aimed at locking down the supply of critical battery minerals as the automaker ramps up electric vehicle production in 2025 and beyond.
GM has said it will have the capacity to build 1 million EVs in North America by 2025, and that it has signed agreements with at least 20 battery materials companies to supply those vehicles.
The Vale deal, which kicks in in the second half of 2026, will supply GM with enough refined nickel for up to 350,000 EVs a year.
More importantly, the Canadian nickel sourced from Vale "will help support EV eligibility for consumer incentives under the new clean energy tax credits in the U.S.," said Doug Parks, GM's executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain.
The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act ties up to $3,750 per vehicle of federal tax credits to requirements that EV batteries be manufactured in North America using materials sourced in North America or from allied nations.
GM and Vale also plan to research battery recycling.
Vale has existing agreements to supply nickel to Tesla and Ford Motor Co, as well as Swedish battery startup Northvolt.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Additional reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
By Ernest Scheyder