Exxon Mobil Sparks Talks with Ford & Tesla over Lithium Supply for EV Batteries

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, Ford, News, Tesla

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We have long wondered how big oil companies would benefit from the emergence of electric vehicles, but now we seem to have some new perspective on those future dealings. Exxon Mobil is reportedly engaged in discussions with leading automakers, including Tesla, Ford Motor, and Volkswagen, regarding the supply of lithium for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to Bloomberg Law. The talks are said to also involve other companies like Samsung and SK On Co.

As of now, the discussions remain in their early stages, given that Exxon lacks the capability to produce the necessary battery metal. However, recent reports suggest that Exxon is exploring potential partnerships in this area. Last month, the company reached an agreement with Tetra Technologies Inc to explore over 6,100 acres of lithium-rich brine in Arkansas. Additionally, Exxon acquired more than 100,000 acres in Arkansas from Galvanic Energy, indicating its interest in the lithium sector.

Extracting lithium from the brines would necessitate Exxon to choose a direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, but it has yet to finalize its selection. It’s important to note that no DLE technology has been proven at a commercial scale so far, though several companies are actively working to develop viable solutions. Notably, Exxon has also been in discussions with International Battery Metals about licensing DLE technology.

The move by Exxon into the lithium sector reflects the growing interest among traditional energy companies and others in exploring emerging technologies that can bolster the global supply of this crucial ultralight metal. The rise of electric vehicles has increased the demand for lithium, making it a strategic resource for companies looking to secure their position in the evolving automotive and energy landscape. However, it’s worth noting that the talks between Exxon and the automakers are still at a nascent stage, and further developments will likely take time before any concrete partnerships or agreements are announced.

Source: Reuters


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