Jan 11, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Global race intensifies for EV raw materials

Illustration of an excavator bucket holding the Earth.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A bunch of new developments highlights a wider trend: intensifying efforts by governments and corporations to secure key minerals needed for electric cars and other clean energy tech.

Driving the news: Tesla and Talon Metals announced a deal on Monday to supply the electric automaker with at least 75,000 metric tons of nickel concentrates from Talon's planned mine in Minnesota. The Star Tribune has details.

  • Separately, mining giant BHP said that it's investing $100 million in a major project in Tanzania for mining nickel, a key material for vehicle batteries and energy storage projects. The FT has more.
  • Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports: "France is aiming to raise 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to help secure enough supply of metals for industries like battery manufacturing as prices of raw materials skyrocket."
  • Back in the U.S., California Gov. Gavin Newsom's just-proposed budget plan aims to help spur the development of lithium deposits in the Salton Sea area.

Why it matters: A global transition to cleaner mobility and power sources is slated to bring soaring demand for materials like lithium, nickel, cobalt, rare earth minerals and more.

Catch up fast: These are just the latest in a suite of plans among automakers, battery companies and others to lock down supplies of critical materials for electric vehicle components.

  • To take just one example, General Motors last month announced two deals aimed at securing magnets and their raw material for EV motors.

Go deeper: The supply crunch that could slow the climate fight

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