BMW AG has awarded orders for €10.2 billion ($11.3 billion) worth of battery cells for electrified vehicles over the next 12 years.
The company says it has hiked an initial order for €4 billion ($4.4 billion) with Chinese batterymaker CATL (Contemporary Ampere Technology Co.) to €7.3 billion.
The contract, which begins in 2020 and runs to 2031, will allocate €4.5 billion of the total for BMW’s own operations and €2.8 billion for the company’s BMW Brilliance Automotive venture in Shenyang, China.
BMW also has finalized a purchase agreement worth €2.9 billion ($3.2 billion) for cells from South Korea’s Samsung SDI. That contract begins in 2021 and also runs to 2031.
The German carmaker says it has arranged to directly purchase cobalt and lithium and supply the metals to CATL and Samsung SDI. Both materials are critical for cell production.
Lead-acid batteries haven’t changed much since 1859.
Panasonic Corp. has a suspended a Canadian supplier of cobalt used to make batteries for Tesla electric cars because the metal was mined in Cuba and may be subject to U.S. sanctions.
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