France plans $1.1 billion to safeguard metals for EV batteries

Electric car charging. (Image by Santeri Viinamäki, Wikimedia Commons).

France is aiming to raise €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to help secure enough supply of metals for industries like battery manufacturing as prices of raw materials skyrocket.

The plan unveiled Monday includes €500 million in public money, according to the environment and industry ministries. The government wants to reduce reliance on supplies of nickel, cobalt and lithium from outside the European Union, it said.

Procuring enough raw materials for EV batteries that also comply with ethical and ecological standards is becoming a focal point for carmakers, while France has also put pressure on manufacturers Renault SA and Stellantis NV to produce batteries at home. Both companies have taken steps to ensure long-term supply of some of the metals required for output. 

The government is calling on the private sector to design projects that could be backed by an investment fund and aimed at bolstering supply chains of metals.

A report submitted to the government Monday by Philippe Varin called for development of battery-metals processing at Dunkirk and for magnets in Lacq, in southwestern France.

It also called for spending on “strategic metals” supply that could include investment in mines. 

(By Tara Patel, with assistance from Francois de Beaupuy)


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