T&E highlights gaps in EV Battery material supply chain

A recent study by Transport & Environment (T&E) has highlighted significant gaps in the efforts of major carmakers to secure the raw materials necessary for electric vehicle (EV) battery production. The study, focusing on the preparedness of automakers for the EV transition by 2030, reveals a mixed landscape of achievements and challenges.
Leading the pack is Tesla, scoring 80 out of 100 points in T&E’s battery supply chain strategy ranking. Tesla’s investment in cobalt-free battery chemistries and its efforts in securing lithium and nickel sourcing are notable achievements. German automaker Volkswagen follows closely, scoring 75.1 points, lauded for its ambitious cell manufacturing strategy and responsible sourcing policies.

Chinese automaker BYD ranks third with 75 points, setting itself apart by moving away from nickel and cobalt use in batteries and focusing on lithium supply. Ford, with 72 points, stands out for its transparency in material contract details and significant percentage of raw material security.

However, the report uncovers a concerning trend among the majority of automakers. Companies like Renault, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes-Benz, Volvo Cars, Toyota, BMW, and Hyundai-Kia have scored less than 50 points, indicating a lack of preparedness in securing critical battery materials like lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

The study stresses the importance of securing these materials sustainably, as they are vital for EV battery production. European carmakers are particularly urged to enhance their efforts in this area, with less than a fifth of the estimated demand for critical minerals secured based on publicly disclosed contracts.

European carmakers’ involvement in the EU battery supply chain is another focus, with VW, Stellantis, and Mercedes-Benz leading in their support for EU-based suppliers. However, international competitors like Tesla, Toyota, Ford, and Hyundai-Kia are less supportive of the EU industrial ecosystem.

In terms of responsible supply chain practices, German carmakers – BMW, Mercedes, and VW – are at the forefront, with BMW being highlighted for its ambitious sourcing policy. However, BYD lags in this area, having secured zero points in the responsible sourcing part of the index.

The report concludes with a stark reminder: carmakers must accelerate their transition to support the European EV ecosystem and secure the raw materials sustainably. Otherwise, they risk losing market share to well-established Chinese and American EV makers.

T&E’s study serves as a call to action for automakers to ramp up efforts in securing critical battery materials and adopting responsible supply chain practices to ensure a successful and sustainable EV transition.

Source: Pedal to the Metal | Transport & Environment

Source: Pedal to the Metal | Transport & Environment
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