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GM, General Electric to study rare earth supply projects for EVS

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General Motors Co. and General Electric Co. said Wednesday they plan to study ways they could develop a supply chain of rare earths and other minerals used to make electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.

Both companies signed a memorandum of understand­ing to evaluate how they could work together to improve access to rare earths and rare earth magnets, as well as copper and steel.

No money changed hands and no decisions have been made on steps the partners could take together, such as whether to build a manufactur­ing plant or mine.

The automaker said it would work with General Electric on opportunit­ies in North America, where both companies are headquarte­red, as well as Europe.

“While we do not have a definitive timeframe for implementi­ng it, working with GM gives us another tool to obtain reliable, sustainabl­e and competitiv­e sources of key materials,” General Electric said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Metal alloys and finished magnets produced from rare earth materials are critical in manufactur­ing electric motors for automotive and renewable power generation.

The nonbinding agreement is with GE’S clean energy arm, GE Renewable Energy. The collaborat­ion will also look at ways to improve supplies of magnets, copper and electrical steel, Techcrunch reported on its website.

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