Daimler: ‘Sustainable EV battery is a big challenge’

Mercedes-Benz EQE

The EV seems to be the way to a sustainable car future, but Mercedes parent company Daimler warns that the truly sustainable electric car may still be far away. This is mainly due to the raw materials needed for the batteries.

Of course, we know well in the back of our minds that EV batteries are full of rare and often questionable raw materials, but it’s always nice when someone makes that idea concrete. Sustainably sourcing the raw materials needed for batteries is a major challenge for the automotive industry, says Daimler board member Renata Jungo Brüngger Bloomberg. Cobalt and lithium, in particular, are hard to come by without entering a web of questionable working conditions, neglected human rights, and a lot of environmental damage.

That is a problem that could quickly get worse, as Mercedes is certainly not the only brand that wants to switch completely to electric cars in or around 2030. Brüngger also states that there is strong pressure from investors and consumers to solve this problem as quickly as possible. That is what the company says it does, but with 60,000 suppliers that is quite a job. Third parties investigate and approve the suppliers, which in rare cases leads to the severing of ties. Mercedes states, however, that it prefers to try to maintain the relationship, and then make an attempt to reconcile a supplier that is questionable in that area.

Daimler aims with a special program for full transparency of the chain by 2028, with concrete intermediate steps before that time. This year, for example, the car manufacturer already wants 30 percent of the total chain to be transparent.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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