* Vulcan to supply up to 99,000 tons of lithium
* Supplies to Stellantis will start in 2026
* Stellantis will have three battery facility in Europe
BERLIN, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Carmaker Stellantis has
signed a preliminary deal with lithium developer Vulcan Energy
Resources for the supply of climate-friendly lithium
from Germany, the two companies said on Monday.
Stellantis is the latest automaker to sign a deal with the
German-Australian start-up to lock down supplies of the battery
metal ahead of an expected surge in global demand as a
transition towards cleaner mobility gains traction.
As part of the five-year agreement, Vulcan will supply
between 81,000 and 99,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium
hydroxide in Europe to Stellantis from 2026, they said in a
statement. No financial details of the agreement were provided.
Vulcan is one of a number of companies testing a direct
lithium extraction (DLE) method that uses less land and
groundwater, making it more sustainable than the most-common
existing methods of open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds.
Stellantis - which was formed at the beginning of this year
through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA - has
pledged to invest more than 30 billion euros ($33.8 billion)
through 2025 on electrifying its vehicle line-up.
As part of this plan the group will build three battery
production facilities in Europe, two in Germany and France
through its ACC joint venture with Daimler and
TotalEnergies and one in Italy, though details about
it are still to be disclosed.
Stellantis, whose brands include Opel, Citroen, Jeep and
Alfa Romeo, is targeting more than 70% of sales in Europe to be
of low-emission vehicles by 2030.
"This agreement is further proof that we have the
competitive spirit to deliver on our commitments," Stellantis
Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer Michelle Wen said.
The announcement comes a week after Vulcan signed a second
deal with French automaker Renault to supply up to
32,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade lithium chemicals from its
geothermal brine deposits in Germany.
Vulcan already has supply deals with Belgian recycling group
Umicore and South Korea's LG Chem Ltd.
($1 = 0.8872 euros)
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers in Berlin and Giulio Piovaccari
in Milan; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Emelia