Auto makers are trying to secure supplies of critical materials for meeting their electric-vehicle goals, particularly as prices rise . Ford Motor, General Motors, and Tesla have all made some recent strategic moves to shore up materials to produce EV batteries. On Tuesday, General Motors (ticker: GM) signed a cobalt supply deal with global mining giant Glencore (GLEN.London).
Cobalt is used along with metals such as lithium, nickel, and iron in rechargeable EV batteries. Cobalt gets more attention than other EV materials because most of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a reputation for poor mining practices and a weak human rights record. The cobalt GM is buying from Glencore , however, will be sourced from Australia.
“GM and our suppliers are building an EV ecosystem that is focused on sourcing critical raw materials in a secure sustainable manner,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, in the company’s news release.
Cobalt is also expensive, which is why GM and others, including Tesla (TSLA), are using other battery chemistries—such as lithium-iron-phosphate—that help reduce costs.
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