Automakers ramping up investments into upstream nickel, cobalt – by Darren Parker ( – July 6, 2022)

Market research firm Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) says automakers are increasing their upstream investments and supply contracts to secure enough battery metals, such as lithium, cobalt and battery-grade nickel, to drive forward their respective electric vehicle (EV) policies and to meet the decarbonisation targets set by governments globally.

Since the start of 2021, 21 such investments have been made – 16 of which were investments into lithium. These investments were made by automakers BMW, General Motors (GM), Tesla, Stellantis, Renault, Volkswagen (VW), Toyota, BYD and Ford.

Fitch Solutions also counted some investments by mining companies whose projects will directly supply materials to EV manufacturers. These include projects led by mining companies Zijin, which will supply to Geely and BYD; Livent, which will supply to BMW and Tesla; Posco, which will supply to Rivian and GM; and Rio Tinto, which will supply to Stellantis and VW.

These investments include partnerships with mines to secure short- and long-term metals contracts, as well as automakers investing into mining companies or strategic mining projects.

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