Dutch automotive manufacturer Stellantis has announced more than $100m investment in Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR), to advance the development of Hell’s Kitchen project.

Hell’s Kitchen is the world’s largest geothermal lithium project with a total resource capacity to produce up to 300,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent annually.

The Lithium produced at Hell’s Kitchen will be used to support Stellantis vehicles’ BEV eligibility for consumer incentives under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

In addition, the companies extended their initial lithium supply agreement, signed in June 2022.

The extended deal requires CTR to supply up to 65,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) annually, for a period of 10 years.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said: “The foundation of our industry-leading decarbonization drive includes low-emissions production and sustainable supply as the building blocks for our electric vehicles.

“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.”

CTR’s Hell’s Kitchen project is located in California’s Imperial County, where lithium is recovered from geothermal brines using renewable energy and steam.

It will be used to produce battery-grade lithium products in a fully integrated process, preventing the need for evaporation brine ponds, open pit mines and chemicals-based lithium processing.

Stellantis plans to achieve a 100% passenger car BEV sales mix in Europe and a 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030.

The automobile company would secure around 400GWh of battery capacity, supported by six battery manufacturing plants in North America and Europe, to achieve the targets.

CTR is expected to start supplying battery-grade LHM for Stellantis in 2027.

The company would create 480 jobs through comprehensive project labour agreements during construction and over 940 direct project jobs when the resource is fully developed.

CTR chief executive officer Rod Colwell said: “This substantial investment in CTR by Stellantis marks an outstanding milestone for our company and further solidifies our efforts to support sustainable electric vehicle battery production.

“With electric vehicle adoption growing rapidly in the U.S. and throughout the world, it has never been more important to ensure battery materials are sourced and produced responsibly.

“Through localising the battery supply chain, we can minimize supply chain risk and create thousands of jobs in a disadvantaged community.”