VW Hunts for Critical Element Needed in Electric Cars – by Thomas Wilson and Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg News – November 23, 2017)


Volkswagen AG is stepping up its hunt for long-term supplies of battery metals it will need to help power electric cars across its entire range.

The top automaker invited producers and traders of cobalt, one of this year’s best-performing metals, for talks at its German headquarters this week, people familiar with the matter said.

Buying the critical battery component might not be as simple as first thought — after issuing a tender in September, the firm has since relaxed demands for offers at a discounted fixed price, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Volkswagen is in “intensive talks” with producers of materials for electric cars, the company said in an email, adding that the discussions also deal with transparency, compliance and sustainability in the commodities supply chain.

Traditionally used to harden steel, cobalt’s ability to conduct electricity has made it an essential part of rechargeable batteries. That has left users scrambling to secure supplies, most of which come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-23/volkswagen-is-said-to-step-up-bid-for-cobalt-for-electric-cars