Mercedes-Benz Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada to advance opportunities across the EV supply chain.
Earlier this week, Mercedes-Benz Group AG and the Government of Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore deeper cooperation across all stages of the automotive value chain – from technical development and the extraction of raw materials to production, service life and recycling.
The purpose of the MoU is to promote cooperation and to explore ways to advance opportunities across Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain, including, but not limited to securing sustainable sources of raw materials – given Canada and Mercedes-Benz’s mutual commitments to sustainable development and climate protection and their investments towards a cleaner and greener economy of the future.
“Mercedes-Benz is looking to open new ways to responsibly acquire raw materials to rapidly scale up electric vehicle production. Securing direct access to new primary and sustainable sources of raw materials is a vital step down this road. With Canada, Mercedes-Benz has a strong and capable partner to break new ground for a new era of sustainable transformation in the automotive industry,” said Markus Schaefer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.
As part of Mercedes-Benz’s “Ambition2039”, the focus is on the reduction of CO₂ emissions as well as the responsible use of resources along the entire supply chain. Mercedes-Benz is preparing to go all-electric by the end of the decade, and with mass electrification of the automotive sector, demand will increase for specific and responsibly sourced raw materials, in particular cobalt and lithium, as well as nickel, graphite, manganese and copper.
Mercedes-Benz is exploring a strategic partnership with Canadian-German firm Rock Tech Lithium Inc., which could allow the manufacturer to supply its vendors with lithium hydroxide to meet global demand for battery electric vehicles. From 2026 onwards, as part of this envisaged partnership, Rock Tech intends to supply Mercedes-Benz and its battery partners with up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually, starting with a qualification period.
“To scale up mass production of electric vehicles we need access to raw materials. With the intended Rock Tech-partnership we are diversifying the sourcing of our raw materials as part of a direct sourcing approach to secure the lithium supply for Mercedes-Benz battery production in Europe,” said Gunnar Guethenke, Vice President Procurement and Supplier Quality of Mercedes-Benz AG. “As sustainability is a central pillar of our Mercedes-Benz purchasing strategy, we appreciate that Rock Tech plans to supply Mercedes-Benz with lithium from mining sites audited to the standard of IRMA and processed with renewable energy sources.”
This intended agreement marks a decisive step for the supply of high-quality lithium to be processed in Germany. With the envisaged strategic partnership with Rock Tech, Mercedes-Benz is expected to advance localisation of European production of state-of-the art battery cells. This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech could – together with additional partnerships in the future – help the Stuttgart-based carmaker achieve its ambitious electrification goals.
“With the envisaged agreement, we intend to provide Mercedes-Benz not only with high-quality lithium hydroxide, but also to establish a strategic partnership that is expected to set new standards in sustainable supply chains. We are very pleased to have found a partner that intends to take important steps with us towards a more resilient and sustainable lithium supply chain to deliver an important part of their strategy and of the e-mobility transformation” said Markus Bruegmann, Chief Executive Officer of Rock Tech Lithium Inc.