Stellantis, the automotive conglomerate behind brands like Jeep and Chrysler, has announced a significant investment exceeding $100 million in a California lithium extraction initiative. This funding is aimed at supporting the development of the Hell’s Kitchen project, touted as the largest geothermal lithium project globally, and enabling Stellantis’ forthcoming electric vehicles (EVs) to qualify for federal tax incentives.
The Hell’s Kitchen site, situated in Southern California’s Imperial Valley, is operated by Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. (CTR). CTR intends to employ renewable energy and steam to extract lithium from geothermal brines located thousands of feet underground. This innovative technique is expected to yield battery-grade lithium carbonate equivalent through an environmentally sustainable process, eliminating the need for open pit mines, brine ponds, lithium processing, and associated environmental concerns typically associated with lithium production.
Stellantis emphasized that having a domestic supply of the required lithium for EV batteries would enable their vehicles to meet new domestic sourcing requirements, allowing buyers to benefit from federal rebates for their EV purchases.
Additionally, the announcement indicated an expansion of the existing supply agreement, increasing it from 25,000 metric tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate per year to 65,000 metric tons. CTR plans to commence supplying this material to Stellantis in 2027.
Stellantis has set an ambitious target for half of its new car sales in the U.S. to be battery-electric vehicles by 2030, aligning with its commitment to the growing electric vehicle market.
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