Carmakers in the European market have secured less than a fifth of the key raw materials they will need by 2030 to make electric vehicle batteries, says a new report by Transport & Environment (T&E). 

The Brussels-based campaign group analysed publicly disclosed contracts to find that carmakers have secured contracts for only 16% of the estimated demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel to meet their 2030 sales goals. Only six companies – Tesla, BYD, Volkswagen, Ford, Renault and Stellantis – have long-term contracts for each of the three materials or are planning to change battery chemistries, Kallanish learns.

Overall, the 12 companies analysed have secured only 14% of the lithium, 17% of the nickel and 10% of the cobalt needed to meet their 2030 targets. US EV giant Tesla took the lead in the overall ranking, thanks to the strength of its raw material and cell production strategies, followed by Germany’s Volkswagen and China’s BYD. Except for Volkswagen and Stellantis, most European manufacturers are “far behind,” says the report published on Monday.

However, German manufacturers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen took the top spot for responsible supply chain practices. “Based on the traceability of raw materials, low-carbon processes and protections for human rights and indigenous rights, this is an important metric for consumers and investors,” the report adds.

BYD scored zero on the responsible practices index as no information was found on its sustainability practices.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and e-mobility supply chains at T&E, notes that there is a “clear disconnect” between companies’ EV goals and their critical mineral strategies. 

“Tesla and BYD are way ahead of most European players who are only waking up to the challenge of securing battery metals now,” the director says. “This report should sound the alarm to ceos and investors to engage further upstream in their supply chains.”