GM is working to secure a consistent and reliable supply of nickel amid rapidly rising prices and mounting global shortages for the critically important metal.
GM CEO Mary Barra appeared on CNBC on Tuesday, where she explained the automaker is still analyzing the potential coming nickel shortage and making moves to help mitigate its effects on the automaker.
Nickel is an important raw material for GM, as it’s used in electric vehicle batteries to help increase energy density within the lithium-ion battery pack. Three-month nickel futures surged 90 percent to $55,000 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange this week amid fears that production output in Russia will be impacted by the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the world’s third-largest nickel producer behind the Philippines and Indonesia.
While there are larger net producers of nickel, Russian company Norilsk Nickel produced more primary nickel than any company in the world in the fourth quarter of 2021 at 62,737 tonnes, according to Market Insider. Primary nickel is freshly mined metal that can be used in manufacturing, such as for vehicle batteries.
GM temporarily paused vehicle exports to Russia last week amid the Ukraine invasion as the U.S. and its Western allies imposed heavy sanctions on the country in response to its aggression. It’s currently unclear when or if GM vehicle exports and sales will resume in Russia. The automaker has also donated $250,000 to the International Rescue Committee in support of Ukrainian civilians displaced by the Russian invasion.