Agreement between Mercedes Benz and Canada for electric vehicle supply chain

Accordo tra Mercedes Benz e Canada per la filiera dei veicoli elettrici

Mercedes Benz Group AG and the Government of Canada signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore deeper cooperation of the automotive value chain.

Mercedes-Benz and Canada seek to further opportunities in the up-, mid- and downstream mining and refining segments, precursor cathode active material segments, cathode active materials, and in cell manufacturing, from technical development and the extraction of raw materials, to production, service life and recycling.  

The purpose of the MoU is to promote cooperation and to explore ways to advance opportunities across Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain, including, but not limited to securing sustainable sources of raw materials – given Canada and Mercedes-Benz’s mutual commitments to sustainable development and climate protection and their investments towards a cleaner and greener economy of the future.

As part of Mercedes-Benz’s “Ambition2039”, the focus is on the reduction of CO2 emissions as well as the responsible use of resources along the entire supply chain. In close cooperation with its suppliers the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker with the three-pointed star is working on finding levers for the consistent reduction of CO as well as seeking to significantly reduce the amount of rare earth metals per electric drive.

Mercedes-Benz is preparing to go all-electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow. With mass electrification of the automotive sector, demand will increase for specific and responsibly sourced raw materials, in particular cobalt and lithium, as well as nickel, graphite, manganese and copper.

Canada and Mercedes Benz Group AG support dialogue and relationships that can further work with strategic partners in Canada. In this context, Mercedes Benz is exploring a strategic partnership with Rock Tech Lithium Inc., which could allow the brand with the three-pointed star to supply its vendors with lithium hydroxide to meet global demand for battery electric vehicles. From 2026 onwards, as part of this envisaged partnership, Rock Tech intends to supply Mercedes Benz and its battery partners with up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually, starting with a qualification period.

This intended agreement marks a decisive step for the supply of high-quality lithium to be processed in Germany. With the envisaged strategic partnership with Rock Tech, Mercedes Benz is expected to advance localisation of European production of state-of-the art battery cells. This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech could – together with additional partnerships in the future – help the Stuttgart-based carmaker achieve its ambitious electrification goals.

Rock Tech Lithium, a cleantech company with operations in Canada and Germany, can help tap new sources of raw materials. Subject to an agreement and if quality and sustainability benchmarks are met, Rock Tech will play a key role in helping Mercedes Benz to mass produce zero-emission vehicles. As one of several partners, Rock Tech is expected to supply the world’s most valuable luxury automotive brand with high quality lithium, which is planned to be refined in a CO2 neutral manner in Guben, Brandenburg (Germany). At this location Rock Tech Lithium is currently building Europe’s first lithium hydroxide converter with a planned investment volume of several hundred million Euros. With its long industrial tradition and existing infrastructure, the region offers the best conditions for becoming a central component of the battery value chain. 

In addition to achieving CO2 neutral production of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2030, Rock Tech Lithium has offered to supply Mercedes Benz with lithium from mining sites audited to the mining standard of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurances (IRMA). Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable all-electric Mercedes Benz vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights as well as of the environment are decisive criteria for choosing sourcing partners.

Source: Mercedes Benz

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