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General Motors Co. GM-N and South Korea’s Posco Future M said they will invest more to expand the production capacity at their chemical battery materials facility in Canada, taking their estimated total investment in the plant to more than US$1-billion.

The companies said on Friday the new investment in their Ultium CAM plant, expected to start operating in 2025, will be used to set up additional facilities for local on-site processing of critical minerals used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries.

The companies had invested about US$327-million in the plant last year, according to media reports.

The latest investment in capacity is expected to support GM’s target to build one million EVs in North America by 2025 as major automakers push to make them more accessible to consumers and eventually establish cost parity with internal combustible engines.

Shares of GM rose 1.5 per cent to US$33.50 in premarket trading.

In April, GM also partnered with Samsung SDI and the companies said they will invest more than US$3-billion to build an EV battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

GM-Posco’s Ultium CAM, a joint venture established last year, will support production of about 360,000 Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick and BrightDrop vehicles annually between 2025-30 in North America.

The latest investment from GM and Posco comes days after Canada’s federal government and the Quebec province each provided about US$112 million for the facility in Becancour, Que., that will produce cathode active material (CAM) for EV batteries.

CAM includes components such as processed nickel, lithium and other materials that make up about 40 per cent of the cost of a battery. Cathodes are also the most complex and costly chemical component of an electric-vehicle battery.

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