Mercedes-Benz AG will source carbon-neutral lithium hydroxide to build batteries for electric vehicles from a Vancouver-based mining startup.
Starting in 2026, the agreement with Rock Tech Lithium will provide Mercedes-Benz AG with an average of 10,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year — enough for around 150,000 electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz, which sells about two million vehicles worldwide annually, plans to go all-electric by the end of the decade.
Automakers worldwide are scrambling to secure the lithium supply required to produce enough electric vehicles to meet their 2030 targets, especially as they bring more of the battery pack manufacturing process in-house. In September, Chinese EV maker Nio bought a 12% stake in Australian lithium mining company Greenwing Resources as it gears up to make its own battery packs beginning in 2024.
The partnership with Rock Tech “will play a key role in securing the lithium supply for our battery production in Europe,” Markus Schäfer, chief technology officer for Mercedes-Benz AG, said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Rock Tech will supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to the automaker’s battery partners — including Envision AESC in the U.S., and ACC and CATL in Europe — from a converter based in Guben, Germany. The automaker also works with Farasis and CATL for its China operations.
Over a five-year term, the agreement represents roughly $1.5 billion in sales and more than 40% of the expected annual production from the planned converter capacity in Guben, according to Rock Tech.
Terms require that Rock Tech source from sites audited by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurances, according to Mercedes-Benz. Both companies are expected to cooperate in “creating a roadmap to achieving CO2 neutral production” of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2030.