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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

Go deeper

Electric cars could become charging stations too

Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup can top off the battery in a Mustang Mach-E. Photo: Ford

Electric vehicles will soon have "bidirectional" or two-way batteries that can turn cars into useful sources of power for your home, worksite or even another car.

Why it matters: One of the biggest obstacles to EV adoption is the lack of charging infrastructure.

  • But if you think of your car as a source of energy — not just a consumer of it — that whole calculus begins to change, says Reilly Brennan, a transportation investor at Trucks Venture Capital.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 13, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Battery startup QuantumScape's new move

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar via Getty Images

The energy storage heavyweight Fluence and the solid-state battery startup QuantumScape Thursday morning announced a multiyear agreement to test and deploy QuantumScape lithium-metal tech in stationary applications.

Why it matters: Storage growth is important to enabling high levels of renewables penetration and also helps aid grid reliability. Solid-state battery tech holds the promise of higher energy density and other benefits.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.