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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

This week is bringing fresh signs of intensifying efforts by the world's largest automakers to secure the materials and supply chains needed for the transition to electric vehicles.

Driving the news: General Motors on Thursday announced two deals related to magnets needed for EV motors.

  • One is with the MP Materials, which operates Mountain Pass, the only U.S. rare earth elements mine in California. The plan for a "fully integrated" U.S. supply chain involves materials from the mine and a new MP magnet factory planned for Texas.
  • The other is an agreement with the German company VAC to build a magnet factory in the U.S., though the location was not announced.
  • On the battery front, TechCrunch reports that Volkswagen has "entered into three new partnerships related to electric vehicle batteries, as the German automaker looks to transition its entire portfolio of cars, trucks and SUVs to zero-emission vehicles by 2040."

The intrigue: NBC News notes that these and other deals show that GM is "accelerating its shift away from China and other foreign sources for the key raw materials and components needed."

Go deeper: Sweden's electric boat startup Candela makes waves

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Indian electric vehicle company EVage raises $28 million

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Indian electric vehicle company EVage just raised a $28 million seed round aimed to help the firm build delivery trucks for companies including Amazon's partner in the country.

Driving the news: The U.S.-based, mobility-focused VC firm RedBlue Capital led the funding round, and its aimed at enabling EVage to complete a factory outside of Delhi, the announcement states.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.