Jeep owner Stellantis invests $100 mn in US lithium
by AFP Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Aug 17, 2023
US-European auto giant Stellantis, whose brands include Jeep, Fiat and Peugeot, said Thursday that it was investing more than $100 million to buy US lithium, essential for producing electric vehicle batteries.
Under the deal, US-based Controlled Thermal Resources will supply the carmaker with up to 65,000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate a year for 10 years from 2027.
It hikes an original supply agreement, signed last year, for up to 25,000 tons per year, Stellantis said in a statement.
The supply of American lithium means electric vehicles (EV) produced by Stellantis will be eligible for consumer incentives under a landmark climate action plan signed into law in the United States last year.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) directs some $370 billion in subsidies towards America’s energy transition, including tax breaks for US-made electric vehicles and batteries.
The law stipulates that in order to qualify for a consumer incentive of $3,750, 40 percent of critical minerals in an eligible EV battery needs to be extracted from, or processed in, countries that have free-trade agreements with the United States.
The figure is set to rise to 80 percent in 2027.
The lithium sold by Controlled Thermal Resources will be extracted from geothermal brines at its site in California known as Hell’s Kitchen using renewable energy and steam, the statement said.
In Europe, Stellantis has teamed up with Australia’s Vulcan Energy for two lithium extraction projects, in Germany and France’s Alsace region.
The company plans to have electric cars account for all of its sales in Europe and 50 percent of its sales in the United States by the end of the decade.