Mercedes-Benz signs MoU with Government of Canada to strengthen cooperation across the electric vehicle value chain
Mercedes-Benz Group AG and the Government of Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore deeper cooperation across all stages of the automotive value chain – from technical development and the extraction of raw materials to production, service life and recycling.
The purpose of the MoU is to promote cooperation and to explore ways to advance opportunities across Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain, including, but not limited to securing sustainable sources of raw materials – given Canada and Mercedes-Benz’s mutual commitments to sustainable development and climate protection and their investments towards a cleaner and greener economy of the future.
“Mercedes-Benz is looking to open new ways to responsibly acquire raw materials to rapidly scale up electric vehicle production. Securing direct access to new primary and sustainable sources of raw materials is a vital step down this road. With Canada, Mercedes-Benz has a strong and capable partner to break new ground for a new era of sustainable transformation in the automotive industry,” said Markus Schaefer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Research & Development and Procurement.
”I welcome that Mercedes-Benz and Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on battery value creation today. This is excellent proof that the cooperation with our close friends and allies in Canada is further deepening also in the context of raw material security and may encourage other companies to follow,” said Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
“Canada is quickly becoming the green supplier of choice for major auto companies, including leading European manufacturers, as we transition to a cleaner, greener future. By partnering with Mercedes-Benz, Canada is strengthening its leadership role as a world class automotive innovation ecosystem for clean transportation solutions. Canada is committed to building a strong and reliable automotive and battery supply chain here in North America to help the world meet global climate goals,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
As part of Mercedes-Benz’s “Ambition2039”, the focus is on the reduction of CO2 emissions as well as the responsible use of resources along the entire supply chain. In close cooperation with its suppliers the Stuttgart-based luxury carmaker with the three-pointed star is working on finding levers for the consistent reduction of CO₂ as well as seeking to significantly reduce the amount of rare earth metals per electric drive.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing to go all-electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow. With mass electrification of the automotive sector, demand will increase for specific and responsibly sourced raw materials, in particular cobalt and lithium, as well as nickel, graphite, manganese and copper.
Canada and Mercedes-Benz Group AG support dialogue and relationships that can further work with strategic partners in Canada. In this context, Mercedes-Benz is exploring a strategic partnership with Rock Tech Lithium Inc., which could allow the brand with the three-pointed star to supply its vendors with lithium hydroxide to meet global demand for battery electric vehicles. From 2026 onwards, as part of this envisaged partnership, Rock Tech intends to supply Mercedes-Benz and its battery partners with up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide annually, starting with a qualification period.
“To scale up mass production of electric vehicles we need access to raw materials. With the intended Rock Tech-partnership we are diversifying the sourcing of our raw materials as part of a direct sourcing approach to secure the lithium supply for Mercedes-Benz battery production in Europe,” said Gunnar Guethenke, Vice President Procurement and Supplier Quality of Mercedes-Benz AG. “As sustainability is a central pillar of our Mercedes-Benz purchasing strategy, we appreciate that Rock Tech plans to supply Mercedes-Benz with lithium from mining sites audited to the standard of IRMA and processed with renewable energy sources.”
This intended agreement marks a decisive step for the supply of high-quality lithium to be processed in Germany. With the envisaged strategic partnership with Rock Tech, Mercedes-Benz is expected to advance localisation of European production of state-of-the art battery cells. This significant amount of lithium sourced directly from Rock Tech could – together with additional partnerships in the future – help the Stuttgart-based carmaker achieve its ambitious electrification goals.