General Motors Co. (GM) and Lithium Americas Corp. will jointly invest to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, which the companies say is the largest known source of lithium in the United States and the third largest in the world. Under the agreement, GM will make a $650 million equity investment in Lithium Americas, which estimates the lithium extracted and processed from the project can support production of up to 1 million EVs per year. Production at Thacker Pass is projected to begin in the second half of 2026. Lithium Americas expects the project to create 1,000 jobs in construction and 500 in operations.

Lithium carbonate from Thacker Pass will be used in GM’s proprietary Ultium battery cells. Lithium is a key material in lithium-ion batteries and stands up well to repeated charging and discharging (including enabling fast charging), delivers higher energy density and offers more usable capacity than other battery types. GM has announced four U.S. cell plants with an annual capacity of 160 gigawatt hours, including the Ultium Cells joint-venture plant with LG Energy Solution in Warren, Ohio, which is in production, and additional JV sites in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Lansing, Mich., that are scheduled to open in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The first three Ultium Cells plants are expected to create 6,000 jobs in construction and 5,000 in operations.

GM is currently building EVs in two Michigan plants, one Tennessee plant and one Ontario plant.