(Bloomberg) — Undeterred by the slowing global economy, buyers of key components in the powering of electric vehicles are stepping up efforts to lock in supplies, with two of the world’s biggest automakers signing direct deals with producers of so-called battery metals.
General Motors Co. announced three deals Tuesday for supplies of raw materials needed for its EV fleet. Less than a week ago, Ford Motor Co. revealed a list of suppliers of inputs ranging from Argentine lithium to Indonesian nickel — enough to build 600,000 EVs a year.
The world’s shift into electric vehicles means demand growth for lithium, nickel, cobalt and other key ingredients in EV batteries is outpacing supply that’s been hampered by Covid-related logistical woes and a general lack of investment, pushing up prices.
There are also growing concerns over China’s dominance of refining and manufacturing capacity of the materials. Reliance on the Asian nation is now seen as a vulnerability amid trade and political tensions that are spurring a rethink of global supply lines.
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