Mercedes-Benz, Rock Tech Lithium sign supply agreement for battery-grade Lithium
Mercedes-Benz AG has concluded a supply agreement with Canadian-German start-up Rock Tech Lithium Inc. to secure high-quality lithium meant for EV battery production as part of a direct sourcing approach.
Starting in 2026, including a qualification period, the agreement allows the German carmaker to get its battery partners supplied with raw material to rapidly scale up its production of fully electric vehicles.
The initial supply agreement entails 10,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year, enough for around 150,000 electric vehicles. The mineral will be refined in Germany, further strengthening the localized sourcing strategy of the Mercedes-Benz EV manufacturing, the company claims.
"This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech will help Mercedes-Benz to advance localisation of European production of state-of-the-art battery cells. Together with additional sourcing partnerships in the future, the on average 10,000 tonnes of lithium per annum will play a key role in securing the lithium supply for our battery production in Europe, to help achieve our ambitious electrification goals", said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.
Rock Tech Lithium plans to supply lithium hydroxide to Mercedes-Benz battery partners from a converter based in Guben, Brandenburg, Germany.
"Lithium hydroxide from Rock Tech offers Mercedes-Benz the opportunity to support two strategic goals: localized and reliable sourcing as well as production under high sustainability standards. We are very pleased to have found a partner that will take important steps with us towards a more resilient lithium supply chain and demonstrates trust in us to deliver an important part of their strategy and of the e-mobility transformation", Markus Bruegmann, Chief Executive Officer of Rock Tech Lithium.
The supply agreement provides that both companies will cooperate in creating a roadmap to achieving CO2 neutral production of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2030. Additionally, it requires that all lithium hydroxide supplied by Rock Tech shall be sourced from mining sites audited by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurances (IRMA).
Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable all-electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights as well as of the environment are decisive criteria for choosing sourcing partners, claims Mercedes-Benz.