Tesla signs nickel deal with BHP to secure non-Chinese supply

Tesla has agreed to buy nickel for its batteries from BHP, the world’s largest miner, as it looks to lock up supplies of the metal not controlled by China.

The deal is the third agreement for nickel that the electric carmaker has signed in the last eight months, following deals with Vale and the Trafigura-backed Goro mine, since CEO Elon Musk called for supplies of “sustainable” nickel.

Musk said last July that he would offer a “giant contract for a long period of time” to companies that could mine nickel “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way.”

Used to make stainless steel, nickel is a key material for Tesla’s longer-range cars that require more powerful batteries. Demand for nickel in batteries is set to grow 500% over the next decade, according to Vandita Pant, BHP’s chief commercial officer.

Electric cars can contain as much as 40 kg of nickel in their batteries, BHP said.

But Chinese companies have cemented their control over most of the production of nickel in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, using coal-fired power in the process.

Tesla has been looking to find alternative low-carbon suppliers in developed countries. The electric carmaker will buy nickel from BHP’s Nickel West plant in Western Australia, which is among the lowest-carbon producers of the battery metal, according to the companies.

Tesla signs nickel deal with BHP to secure non-Chinese supply

BHP Nickel West plant south of Perth, Australia, will produce nickel sulfate for the electric-vehicle battery industry. © Reuters

BHP gave no details on the size of the deal with Tesla. Caspar Rawles, an analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, estimated it would be for up to 18,000 tons of nickel annually.

The deal comes as BHP looks to focus on commodities that will be needed in the shift to a low-carbon economy and examines options for its oil and gas assets, including a sale.

“The investments we have made in our assets and our pursuit of commodities like nickel will help support global decarbonization and position us to generate long-term value for our business,” said Edgar Basto, president of BHP Minerals Australia.

In 2019, BHP reversed a decision to sell the Nickel West asset and instead decided to invest in producing nickel for the battery industry. Nickel West is set to produce its first nickel sulfate, the form suitable for batteries, this year, which means it does not have to be first sent to refineries in China.

The Nickel West refinery produces about 80,000 tons a year of nickel, enough for roughly 2 million electric car batteries, according to BHP.

BHP said it would also work with Tesla to trace battery raw materials using blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, and collaborate on how to use renewable energy and battery storage to lower the carbon footprint of its mining operations, it said.

(Financial Times)


Japan travel news, japan travel guides, japan holiday destinations and japan reviews

LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Apple's iPhone warning underscores risk of chip shortage into 2022

TOKYO — The chip shortage that has disrupted car and electronics production worldwide looks increasingly likely to last into next year, industry watchers say, with Apple revealing this week that it expects the supply troubles to spread to iPhones. The year started off with a deep freeze and resulting power…

Read more: Apple's iPhone warning underscores risk of chip shortage into 2022

Lithium and copper spark $9bn cost headache for Japan automakers

TOKYO — Japanese automakers face a multibillion-dollar hit to earnings this fiscal year from rising prices of lithium, copper and other materials crucial to the shift away from polluting cars. The effect of higher materials costs on operating profits stands to reach about 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) for Japan’s…

Read more: Lithium and copper spark $9bn cost headache for Japan automakers

New paints and steels squeeze CO2 out of auto production

TOKYO — Automotive suppliers Asahi Kasei and JFE Steel have jumped onto the decarbonization bandwagon by developing processes that save energy and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Asahi Kasei, a chemical producer, is creating coating material for automotive steel sheets that can be applied at lower temperatures while maintaining conventional…

Read more: New paints and steels squeeze CO2 out of auto production

Daimler aims to be ready for all-electric car market by 2030

LONDON (Reuters) — Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler plans to invest more than 40 billion euros ($47 billion) between 2022 and 2030 to develop battery electric vehicles and be ready for an all-electric car market by the end of that period. Outlining its strategy for an electric future, the German luxury carmaker…

Read more: Daimler aims to be ready for all-electric car market by 2030

Toyota halts factories in Thailand as COVID hits supply chain

BANGKOK — Japanese auto group Toyota Motor has halted operations at its three factories in Thailand as the country’s delta-variant COVID epidemic disrupts the supply of key automobile parts. The closures underline how the pandemic is still putting the automobile supply chain under strain. The stoppage started from Wednesday (July…

Read more: Toyota halts factories in Thailand as COVID hits supply chain

Hyundai says chip crunch is easing as profits soar

SEOUL — Hyundai Motor said the global chip shortage was gradually easing as the South Korean automaker reported operating profit tripled in the second quarter from a year ago thanks to strong worldwide sales. Hyundai said Thursday that its operating profit reached 1.9 trillion won ($1.7 billion) in the April…

Read more: Hyundai says chip crunch is easing as profits soar

Hyundai and Great Wall EVs challenge Japan's dominance in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK — When China’s Great Wall Motor rolled out the Haval H6 hybrid sport utility vehicle in Thailand last month, the slogan for the launch — “It’s time to change” — seemed to throw down the gauntlet to the Japanese companies that enjoy a near-monopoly in Southeast Asia. Great Wall…

Read more: Hyundai and Great Wall EVs challenge Japan's dominance in Southeast Asia

Volvo Cars to buy parent Geely Holding's stake in China JVs

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) — Sweden’s Volvo Car Group said on Wednesday it had struck a deal to buy out parent company Geely Holding from their joint ventures in China, aiming to take full ownership of its factories and sales business in the world’s biggest auto market. Under the deal, whose financial…

Read more: Volvo Cars to buy parent Geely Holding's stake in China JVs

Suzuki and Daihatsu to invest in Toyota EV alliance

Top sponsor Toyota pulls all Olympic TV ads in blow to Games

Suzuki to launch EVs by fiscal 2025, in India first

Top sponsor Toyota cancels all Olympic TV ads in Japan

EV growth propels Denso to close value gap with Honda and Ford

Toyota's self-driving car unit buys US map startup Carmera

EU Green Deal seeks to force shift to electric vehicles in 2035

Self-driving specialist Pony.ai sets course for mass production

OTHER NEWS