Aug 23, 2022 - Economy & Business

Volkswagen makes big battery bet in Canada

Illustration of a small car plugged into three large batteries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Volkswagen plans to buy stakes in Canadian mines and mine operators, per a company director, and has signed a related MOU with the Canadian government.

Why it matters: This would help the German automaker ensure access to raw materials for battery production, including nickel, cobalt and lithium. It also would help VW sidestep new U.S. tariffs imposed by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Context: Fiat Chrysler parent company Stellantis in June bought into a lithium production group, while Chinese EV maker BYD reportedly was in talks to buy six African lithium mines. Tesla Motors in May floated the idea of buying a mining operation.

The bottom line, per Axios' Ben Geman: "As automakers and policymakers plan for the EV transition and boost investments, the ability to source supplies is becoming an intense geopolitical competition and a logistical knot."

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