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German Carmakers Could Face Battery Materials Shortage

Demand for cobalt, graphite, lithium or manganese is expected to soar as carmakers rush to embrace EVs.Demand for cobalt, graphite, lithium or manganese is expected to soar as carmakers rush to embrace EVs.

The German car industry risks running short of key raw materials for automotive batteries, hampering a planned boost in the production of electric vehicles, Germany’s largest industry association Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) warned.

“The risk of running into bottlenecks in raw material supply is increasing because demand is growing faster than production capacity,” Matthias Wachter, head of security and raw materials at the BDI was quoted as saying by the Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Reuters reported.

“Without sufficient supplies for instance of cobalt, graphite, lithium or manganese there will not be any future technology ‘made in Germany’,” he added.

Demand for these materials is expected to soar as carmakers rush to embrace EVs in response to governments around the world cracking down on pollution.

German carmaker Volkswagen said it is pushing to secure long-term supply contracts to avoid material shortages as it aims to invest €34 billion in battery-powered cars by 2022 to challenge Tesla.

Daimler’s Mercedes brand plans to offer an electric version of every model it sells by 2022, while rival BMW, a pioneer in electric cars with its i3 model, has vowed to achieve mass production by 2025 with 12 fully electric models.

Recycling companies such as Belgium’s Umicore or US group Retriev Technologies are preparing to extract metals from old batteries so they can capitalize on an expected shortfall in materials.

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