Volkswagen has intensified its efforts to secure access to key battery materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel by striking a cooperation agreement with its top supplier, Canada. This move comes as Volkswagen launches its electric vehicle expansion strategy across the globe, and aims to overtake Tesla as the leader of the industry, which is a strategy that depends on the sufficient supply of vital battery materials.
Herbert Diess, chief executive of Volkswagen, said the supply of battery raw materials, and the production of precursor and cathode materials with a low carbon footprint will allow for a fast, and sustainable ramp-up of the battery capacity, which is key lever for their growth strategy in North America.
Volkswagen is aiming to build six large battery cell factories in Europe by 2030 with a capacity of around 240 gigawatt hours, and a dedicated factory in North America for which it is currently examining the potential sites across the region.
Under the new agreement with Canada, Volkswagen is aiming to deepen cooperation with the mining industry of Canada, and can even become a shareholder in the local mining companies to make sure that it is first in line when it comes to supply.
The agreement also includes the speedy production of the so-called cathode materials, which also include nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) oxide, and nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) oxide.