Employees work at a production line of lithium ion batteries inside a factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China on October 16, 2018. File Photo: REUTERS/JOYCE ZHOU
Employees work at a production line of lithium ion batteries inside a factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China on October 16, 2018. File Photo: REUTERS/JOYCE ZHOU

Frankfurt am Main — German car behemoth Volkswagen said Friday it had secured 10 years' worth of lithium for electric car batteries from Chinese manufacturer Ganfeng, ensuring supply of a key ingredient for the vital components.

The two firms “signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on long-term lithium supplies for battery cells,” VW said in a statement, although it did not reveal the financial terms of the deal.

“Volkswagen is thus already securing a significant share of its lithium requirement,” the group added.

With harsh EU emissions limits set to bite from 2020 and toughen further by 2030, the sprawling 12-brand company plans about 70 new electric models by 2028.

As it emerges from the shadow of its painful “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal, VW aims to sell about 22-million electric cars over the coming decade to escape fines from Brussels.

But the new electric offensive is pushing the limits of battery production.

World demand for lithium is constantly growing as car companies join makers of smartphones and other electronic gadgets in clamouring for supply of the element.

Each smartphone battery contains 3g of lithium, a laptop about 30g and an electric car battery more than 20kg.

AFP