Umicore and AESC enter into long-term supply agreement for EV battery materials in North America and strengthen technology partnership
Umicore and AESC, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance batteries for electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage systems, have signed a ten-year agreement whereby Umicore will supply high-nickel battery materials for the production of EV batteries at AESC’s US manufacturing facilities. The partnership supports AESC’s growth ambitions in the region by securing supplies of these critical, sustainably sourced high-performance materials regionally. The contract and its firm commitments give Umicore secured access to an important part of North American demand for EV battery materials and further diversify its exposure to major players in the EV value chain.
Additionally, Umicore and AESC are committed to strengthening their partnership with Umicore leading the development of cathode materials, crucial to AESC’s pioneering next-generation battery technologies.
The supply agreement for cathode active materials (CAM) runs from 2026 to 2035 and marks an important milestone for Umicore’s decision to build a carbon-neutral plant for battery materials in Loyalist, Ontario, Canada, to serve the North-American region. It is also a testament to Umicore's technology leadership and innovation track record as well as its capability to efficiently produce battery materials with such elevated nickel levels at industrial scale.
“We are very proud to join forces with AESC and to support AESC and its customers with their global success and expansion. Our shared commitment to the principles of local-for-local battery value chains unites our efforts towards clean electric mobility.
Moreover, this partnership highlights the success of our global strategy to pioneer sustainable battery materials value chains close to our customers and validates our leadership and the reliability of our battery technologies.”
Mathias Miedreich, CEO Umicore
The agreement secures an annual volume offtake equivalent to 50 Gigawatt hours of CAM by the end of the decade. The battery materials will power the EVs of AESC’s customers in the region, including BMW Group. AESC will begin receiving supplies in 2026 from Umicore’s factory in Cheonan, Korea, complemented by supplies from the Loyalist plant once it starts production that same year.
“As we maintain a steadfast commitment to the development of cutting-edge EV battery technology, we are thrilled to partner with Umicore. This partnership and the supply chain enhancements it brings will allow our company to leverage Umicore’s proven ability to provide critical, high-quality materials at scale and advance our leadership in developing advanced and reliable EV batteries,” said Shoichi Matsumoto, CEO of AESC. “As we fortify our manufacturing presence in the U.S., a key, fast-growing market for EVs, and strengthen our R&D capabilities worldwide, this partnership further positions AESC as the partner of choice for the global automotive industry.”
“The BMW Group pursues a globally balanced procurement strategy in the three main geographical regions of the world. Our battery cell supplier in the US will source key primary materials from Canada going forward. We are pleased that Canada is playing a strong role in establishing a robust and efficient battery cell supply chain for the BMW Group in North America,” said Joachim Post, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network.
Note to the editor:
Cathode active materials and their precursors are the most critical components for a rechargeable battery’s performance. Umicore can manufacture all of its battery materials technologies, including very high nickel, at its production plants in Korea, China, Europe and, soon, Canada. Very high nickel content is key to driving long-range cars, as it ensures increased energy density and storage capacity.
Umicore continues to explore opportunities to establish a regional presence in metals refining and battery recycling in North America, similar to its complete battery materials supply chain in Europe and its presence along the supply chain in Asia. Umicore’s strategy secures supplies of these critical materials for EV batteries regionally, increases regional independence, and reduces the environmental footprint of battery materials manufacturing.
 Nickel content 90% and more
 AESC’s North-American battery plants are located in Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee
 AESC’s batteries with Umicore’s battery materials will power the sixth generation of the BMW eDrive technology