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Sourcing cobalt remains a challenge for electric vehicle manufacturers


German luxury vehicle maker BMW signed a US$2.3 billion long-term deal earlier this month with Swedish battery maker Northvolt, the latest of such deals, as European carmakers try to compete with Tesla in the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market.

Tesla’s gigafactories and battery technology have long given it an edge in the EV market (Northvolt was started by two former Tesla executives), but when it comes to the sourcing of raw material for lithium-ion batteries, the California company faces the same challenges as traditional carmakers.

This makes another, much smaller deal BMW struck more significant in finding an advantage over Tesla and stealing a march on its German and Japanese competitors.

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