GM’s investment arm GM Ventures is leading a $50-million Series B financing round in Energy Exploration Technologies (EnergyX) and will develop the company’s lithium extraction and refinery technology.
EnergyX’s direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology can make lithium metal directly from brine, potentially in anode-ready form for EV batteries—enabling cost-effective and sustainable lithium recovery. This could help create a lithium supply chain in North America that may otherwise be unviable, the company said.
In 2022, EnergyX designed, built and commissioned an in-field pilot plant in the Lithium Triangle in South America, which encompasses over 65% of the world’s known global lithium reserves. The company says its LiTAS technology increases lithium recovery rates to over 90% from the current industry standard of 30-40% using ponds, and hit 94% during its field trials.
After a successful five-month pilot program proving the efficacy of the LiTAS lithium refinery process, EnergyX will scale those systems to more robust market demonstration plants located at five regional test beds in North and South America, followed by full-scale commercialization.
This new round of financing, provided by GM and other investors, will enable the company to broaden its research and development efforts for pure lithium metal anodes and its solid-state lithium metal battery program, SoLiS. The agreement with GM includes a technology development program and will give the carmaker access to lithium supply from EnergyX for its EV production.
“The EnergyX team of scientists and engineers have worked for five years, developing DLE technology to solve the bottlenecks that have limited global lithium production and supply chain,” said Teague Egan, CEO of EnergyX. “We aim to unlock lithium supply in the US, a pivotal move in expanding the EV industry.”