Stellantis, the French automotive manufacturer, has announced a substantial investment exceeding $100 million (€91.81 million) into Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR), a US-based lithium and sustainable energy company.
The primary purpose of this investment is to support the development of CTR’s ambitious Hell’s Kitchen project, situated in Imperial County, California. Hell’s Kitchen, boasting an annual production capacity of 300,000 tonnes, stands as the world’s largest geothermal lithium project.
Under the terms of the agreement, Stellantis is set to receive an initial supply of 65,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate from Hell’s Kitchen, marking a significant increase from the initial 25,000 tpa agreement established in 2022.
The innovative Hell’s Kitchen project involves the extraction of high-temperature lithium brine from depths of up to 8,000 feet beneath the Earth’s surface. Following extraction, lithium will be separated from the brine before it is returned to the subterranean reservoir.
Notably, the entire process will be powered by renewable energy sources, with on-site wind farms utilizing steam power for brine extraction. This integrated approach eliminates the need for time-consuming lithium brine ponds.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, emphasized the company’s commitment to decarbonization and sustainable supply as integral components of their electric vehicle (EV) production strategy, stating, “The foundation of our industry-leading decarbonization drive includes low-emissions production and sustainable supply as the building blocks for our electric vehicles [EVs].”
He further explained, “The latest agreement with CTR is an important step in our care for our customers and our planet as we work to provide clean, safe, and affordable mobility in North America.”
The lithium produced from Hell’s Kitchen will contribute to Stellantis’ ongoing North American energy transition initiative. This locally sourced lithium will enhance the eligibility of Stellantis products for tax credits and consumer incentives under the US’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Leveraging the opportunities presented by the IRA, Stellantis has been strategically establishing six North American car manufacturing plants and forming partnerships with various companies in the region. These endeavors are aimed at capitalizing on increased subsidies to make their forthcoming fleet of EVs more cost-effective and accessible to consumers.
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