Stellantis uses Australian materials for its electric vehicles

This image from July 2021 shows a Citroen e-C4 electric vehicle on display in a showroom in Paris, France. Citroen is a brand of Stellantis, one of the world’s largest automakers.

Benjamin Girett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

stellantis is reaching out to Australia as it hopes to procure materials needed for its electric vehicle strategy in the coming years.

The automaker said on Monday it had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the Sydney-listed company related to “the future sale of nickel and cobalt sulfate in large quantities.” GME Resources Limited.

According to Stellaantis, the MoU is centered around materials received from the NiWest Nickel-Cobalt project, which is intended to be developed in Western Australia.

In a statement, the firm described NiWest as a facility that will produce about 90,000 tons of “nickel and cobalt sulfate for batteries” annually for the electric vehicle market.

Stellaantis said more than A$30 million (about $18.95 million) has been “invested in drilling, metallurgical testing and development studies” so far. The final feasibility study for the project is due to begin this month.

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In a statement on Monday, Stellantis, whose brands include Fiat, Chrysler and Citroen, cited its goal of having all passenger sales in Europe electric by 2030. BEV Sales Structure” for the same time period.

“Securing raw material sourcing and battery supply will strengthen Stellantis’ value chain for electric vehicle batteries,” said Maxim Pikat, director of purchasing and supply at Stellantis.

Stellantis’ plans to produce electric vehicles put it in competition with firms like Elon Musk. Tesla as well as companies such as Volkswagen, Ford as well as grandmaster.

According to the International Energy Agency, sales of electric vehicles should reach a record level this year. Sector expansion and other factors are creating challenges when it comes to supplying batteries, which are critical for electric vehicles.

“The rapid rise in sales of electric vehicles during the pandemic has been a test of the resilience of battery supply chains, and Russia’s war in Ukraine has further exacerbated the problem,” the IEA notes, adding that prices for materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel have “increased.” “

“In May 2022, lithium prices were more than seven times higher than at the start of 2021,” he adds. “The key drivers are unprecedented demand for batteries and the lack of structural investment in new capacity.”

In April, CEO and President Volvo Cars predicted battery shortages would be a pressing issue for its sector, telling CNBC that the firm had made investments to help it gain a foothold in the market.

“We’ve recently made a significant enough investment in Northvolt that we can control our own battery supply as we move forward,” Jim Rowan told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

“I think battery stock is going to be one of the scarce commodities in the coming years,” Rowan added.

“And that’s one of the reasons we’ve made such a significant investment in Northvolt: so we can control not only supply, but actually start developing our own battery chemistry and manufacturing capabilities.”

Renault charging plans

Monday also saw the introduction of Mobilize, a brand Renault Groupannounces plans to roll out an ultra-fast charging network for electric vehicles in the European market. Mobilize Fast Charge is known to consist of 200 sites in Europe by mid-2024 and “will be open to all electric vehicles.”

Developing adequate charging options is seen as crucial when it comes to the difficult perception of range anxiety, a term that refers to the idea that electric vehicles can’t make long trips without losing power and getting stranded.

According to Mobilize, the network in Europe will allow drivers to charge their vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Most gas stations will be at Renault dealerships less than 5 minutes from a motorway exit or expressway,” the company added.

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