British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mercedes-Benz AG finalized a supply agreement with Canadian-German-start-up Rock Tech Lithium Inc. to secure high-quality lithium used in battery production as part of a direct sourcing approach. Starting in 2026, including a qualification period, this allows the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker to get its battery partners supplied with raw material to rapidly scale up its production of fully electric vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz plans to go all electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow, requiring the brand with the three-pointed star to open new sources of raw materials with new partners. As part of the agreement, Rock Tech Lithium plans to supply battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Mercedes-Benz battery partners from a converter based in Guben, Brandenburg, Germany. Lithium hydroxide is needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries which are used in Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles.
“This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech will help Mercedes-Benz to advance localization of European production of state-of-the-art battery cells. Together with additional sourcing partnerships in the future, the on average 10,000 tons of lithium per annum will play a key role in securing the lithium supply for our battery production in Europe, to help achieve our ambitious electrification goals”, said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.
“Lithium hydroxide from Rock Tech offers Mercedes-Benz the opportunity to support two strategic goals: localized and reliable sourcing as well as production under high sustainability standards. We are very pleased to have found a partner that will take important steps with us towards a more resilient lithium supply chain and demonstrates trust in us to deliver an important part of their strategy and of the e-mobility transformation”, Markus Bruegmann, Chief Executive Officer of Rock Tech Lithium.
The strategic partnership between Rock Tech and Mercedes-Benz was announced during a German-Canadian summit in Toronto in August this year following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mercedes-Benz AG and Canada to explore deeper cooperation across all stages of the automotive value chain, focusing on natural resources development.
The supply agreement provides that both companies will cooperate in creating a roadmap to achieving CO2 neutral production of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2030. Additionally, it requires that all lithium hydroxide supplied by Rock Tech shall be sourced from mining sites audited by the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurances (“IRMA”).
Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable all-electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights as well as of the environment are decisive criteria for choosing sourcing partners. In close cooperation with its suppliers the Stuttgart-based luxury car maker with the three-pointed star is therefore working on finding levers for the consistent reduction of CO₂ as well as joining forces in order to reduce the amount of rare earth metals per electric drive significantly.
Mercedes-Benz has set the course for CO2 neutrality: With its strategic step from “Electric First” to “Electric Only”, the company is accelerating its transformation into an all-electric future. By continuously integrating the most advanced battery cell technology in cars and vans, Mercedes-Benz aims to increase range during the production lifecycle of a model. Mercedes-Benz is taking a comprehensive approach across the whole battery technology chain – from research and development to series production. The Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker buys battery cells from different partners on the world market, thus having access to the latest technology.
Mercedes-Benz has several battery partnerships with multiple providers in different geographies: in Europe ACC and CATL, in the United States Envision AESC and in China Farasis and CATL. Through in-depth know-how in the development and production of highly complex drive systems and the research and development expertise in the field of battery cells, Mercedes-Benz is involved with its suppliers in meeting the requisite specifications.
About Rock Tech Inc.
Rock Tech is a cleantech company on a mission to produce lithium hydroxide for EV batteries. The company plans to build converters at the door-step of its customers, to provide supply-chain transparency and just-in-time delivery. Furthermore, Rock Tech has gathered one of the strongest teams in the industry. It holds itself accountable to strict ESG standards and plans to source raw material from its own mineral project in Canada as well as procuring it from responsibly producing mines. In the years to come, the company aims to extract its material from discarded batteries. Rock Tech’s goal: to create a closed-loop lithium company.