BMW Group has signed a multi-year lithium-sourcing agreement with US-based Livent. The contract, worth a total of €285m (US$335m), will see Livent supply lithium directly to the OEM’s battery cell manufacturers from 2022 on.
The BMW Group signed a contract for the procurement of lithium from so-called hard-rock deposits at Australian mines back in 2019. Now, the company is broadening its supplier base and sourcing lithium from Argentina, where the raw material is obtained from brine from salt lakes.
“Lithium is one of the key raw materials for electromobility. By sourcing lithium from a second supplier, we are securing requirements for production of our current fifth generation of battery cells,” explained Dr Andreas Wendt, board member for purchasing and supplier network, BMW Group. “At the same time, we are making ourselves technologically, geographically and geopolitically less dependent on individual suppliers.”
To guarantee complete transparency over the origin and mining methods of raw materials like lithium and cobalt, BMW sources directly from producers and makes the materials available to its battery cell suppliers.
In addition to sourcing lithium via innovative methods that ensure sustainable water use and reduced ecological impact, Livent will also contribute important data to a BMW-initiated study of sustainable lithium mining.