In a near-simultaneous release, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen both announced that they were signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Canada regarding battery materials and technology. The two German companies aim to advance opportunities across Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain and secure sustainable sourcing of raw materials from the country.
Present at the ceremony were VW Group CEO Herbert Deiss; Mercedes-Benz Group CTO Marking Schaefer; Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Deiss
Mercedes-Benz Group CTO Markus Schaefer
The Volkswagen Group focuses on collaboration between PowerCo, a newly founded battery company, and the Canadian mining sector. The supply of important raw materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt is the main focus of this cooperation. The plan is to increase the Group’s production of cathode materials and offer Canadian suppliers the opportunity to act as raw material suppliers, refiners and processors. PowerCo also plans to set up a dedicated liaison office in Canada.
“The supply of battery feedstocks and the production of precursors and cathode materials with a low carbon footprint will enable rapid and sustainable increases in battery capacity — a key lever for our growth strategy in North America,” said Deiss, who will step down as CEO of the VW Group at the end of the month. .
The VW Group plans to launch more than 25 battery-electric vehicles in North America, targeting 55 percent of EV sales by 2030.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz MoU aims to explore deeper ties through all stages of the automotive value chain – from technical development and extraction of raw materials, to production, life and recycling.
Mercedes is also exploring a strategic partnership with Rock Tech Lithium Inc., a clean technology company with operations in Canada and Germany. It could leverage new sources of raw materials for this partnership, which will play a key role in helping Mercedes-Benz mass-produce zero-emissions vehicles.
“As sustainability is a key pillar of our Mercedes-Benz purchasing strategy, we appreciate that Rock Tech plans to supply Mercedes-Benz with lithium from mining sites audited to IRMA standards and processed with renewable energy sources,” said Gunnar Guethenke, Vice President of Procurement. and Supplier Quality Mercedes-Benz AG.