The car manufacturers operating in the European market have secured themselves less than a fifth (16%) of key metals for the production of batteries they will need from here al 2030. This is what emerges from an analysis that Transport & Environment (T&E), the independent European environmental organisation, created on the basis of supply contracts made public by the companies themselves. Alone Tesla and WORLD are doing enough to secure the supplies of cobalt, lithium and nickel needed to meet their 2030 sales targets, while most European manufacturers – with the exception of Volkswagen and Stellantis – are far behind. The analysis is part of a ranking compiled by T&E which analyzes the positioning of car manufacturers in the battery supply chain based on several parameters: quantity of insured raw materials, cell production capacity, responsibility in the supply chain.
Raw materials supply: Tesla in the lead, but supply chain lags behind on sustainability
Tesla is at the top of the general ranking drawn up by T&E, by virtue of the solidity of its strategies for the procurement of raw materials and the development of cell production, although it appears to be lagging behind – compared to several competitors – in terms of its level of accountability in the supply chain. Volkswagen performs relatively well in all three categories, placing second, just ahead of BYD, which is first in terms of raw material sourcing capacity but is at a disadvantage when analyzing its supply chain due to low availability. of information on sustainable sourcing.
Only 6 automakers have long-term contracts for the 3 rare minerals
According to the research, only six companies – Tesla, BYD, VW, Ford, Renault e Stellantis – have long-term contracts for each of the three key metals (cobalt, lithium and nickel) or plan to change the chemistry of the batteries to end their dependence on one of the metals. There Mercedes has only one publicly disclosed contract for a key mineral, while BMW – which opposes the EU’s phasing out of internal combustion engines – has not disclosed sufficient information on how it plans to secure nickel, cobalt or cathode materials.
Disconnect between electrification objectives and critical mineral supply strategies
Andrea Boraschi, director of the Italian T&E office, said: “There is a clear disconnect between automakers’ stated EV production goals and their strategies for sourcing critical minerals. Tesla and BYD are far ahead of most European operators, who are belatedly preparing for the challenge of securing the metals needed for the transition to electric. This report should sound an alarm for the CEOs of these companies and investors to ensure greater solidity and coherence for their industrial strategies.”
BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, the top 3 car manufacturers for levels of responsibility in the supply chain
German car manufacturers – BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen – I am the top three car manufacturers, in the T&E ranking, when looking at levels of responsibility in the supply chain. This parameter – defined by the traceability of raw materials, the carbon intensity of the supply chain and the protection of human rights and indigenous peoples – is important for consumers and investors, as well as for the environment and communities involved in the production of critical materials. BYD scored zero on this metric, as no information was found on the automaker’s social and environmental sustainability practices for sourcing critical minerals.
Volkswagen, Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz, best score for level of supply chain resilience
In a league of their own, Volkswagen, Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz achieved the best score regarding their level of resilience to possible disruptions in the supply chain, an important parameter in light of the growing trade tensions between the EU and China. The three companies, together with Renault, are the only ones supporting EU start-ups in the battery components and mineral processing sectors. According to T&E, the automotive industry’s support for the localization of refining and the production of cathodes and other components in Europe can help grow green tech on the continent, while increasing security of supply.
The European automotive industry has more sustainable supply chains
Andrea Boraschi said: “Car manufacturers’ supply strategies will make a difference in the transition to electric mobility in Europe, and some companies could face serious difficulties. Support for European battery component refining and production will be critical to their resilience. To date, European industry also shows a clear advantage in the sustainability of supply chains, a key factor in securing consumers and unlocking ESG investments.” (Teleborsa)