Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz workforce up with Canada in battery supplies push


FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German carmakers Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz struck battery supplies cooperation agreements with mineral-rich Canada on Tuesday, intensifying efforts to safe entry to lithium, nickel and cobalt.

The transfer comes as automakers roll out their electric-vehicle enlargement methods globally in a bid to problem sector chief Tesla. These methods depend upon enough provides of significant battery supplies.

No monetary particulars have been disclosed for the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreements, which have been signed in Canada throughout a go to by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and a delegation of German company representatives.

“The provision of battery uncooked supplies and the manufacturing of precursor and cathode supplies with a low carbon footprint will permit for a quick and sustainable ramp-up of battery capability – a key lever for our development technique in North America,” outgoing Volkswagen Chief Government Herbert Diess stated.

Volkswagen goals to construct, with companions, six giant battery cell factories in Europe by 2030 with a capability of round 240 gigawatt-hours, in addition to a devoted manufacturing unit in North America for which it’s at the moment inspecting potential websites.

VW is focusing on preliminary capability of 20 gigawatt-hours on the North American plant, stated Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen AG board member and head of the automaker’s Energy Co battery unit.

At a media briefing Tuesday, Schmall stated the corporate goals to announce the North American plant location and potential mining and refining companions by the top of the yr.

“The whole lot in our deliberate rollout of electrical autos is dependent upon the provision of batteries,” Schmall stated.

Pablo Di Si, incoming president and CEO of VW Group of America, stated the automaker’s U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, goals to construct 90,000 electrical autos subsequent yr, including that the brand new ID4 is anticipated to qualify this yr for the complete $7,500 U.S. tax credit score underneath the brand new Inflation Discount Act.

Mercedes-Benz, meantime, is making ready to go absolutely electrical by the top of the last decade wherever market situations permit, and has just lately struck a take care of China’s CATL to make sure battery cell provide in Europe.

As a part of the MoU, Mercedes-Benz will discover a strategic partnership with Rock Tech Lithium underneath which the Canadian agency would provide the German carmaker and its battery companions with as much as 10,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide a yr from 2026.

Volkswagen has stated it might turn into a shareholder in native mining corporations to ensure it’s first in line with regards to provide.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Extra reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Enhancing by Miranda Murray, Mark Porter and Josie Kao)


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