PARIS — Stellantis has taken a $52 million fairness funding in Vulcan Energy Resources, an Australian-German startup that plans to mine lithium, a key ingredient in electrical automotive batteries, with zero greenhouse gasoline emissions.
The funding provides Stellantis an 8 p.c stake in Vulcan, making it the second-largest shareholder, and will probably be used to develop the miner’s efforts within the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany, Stellantis mentioned Friday. The two corporations have additionally prolonged to 10 years a five-year settlement introduced final November.
“Making this highly strategic investment in a leading lithium company will help us create a resilient and sustainable value chain for our European electric vehicle battery production,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares mentioned.
Stellantis, with its companions Mercedes-Benz and Total/Saft, plans to open at the very least three battery factories in Europe within the coming years, in France, Germany and Italy.
The automaker says it should want 150 gigawatt-hours of battery capability to achieve its 2030 objective of promoting solely electrical automobiles in Europe.
As a part of the preliminary five-year settlement, Vulcan mentioned it might provide between 81,000 and 99,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in Europe to Stellantis beginning in 2026.
Vulcan is considered one of various corporations testing a direct lithium extraction (DLE) methodology that makes use of much less land and groundwater, making it extra sustainable than the most typical present strategies of open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds.
In addition to Stellantis, Vulcan has signed provide agreements with Renault Group, battery maker LG Chem and Belgian recycling group Umicore.