Mercedes-Benz CEO says raw material scarcity could delay e-mobility

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The scarce supply of raw materials for electric cars could slow the transition from fossil-fuel burning vehicles to electric ones, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius said in an interview with German paper Die Zeit on Wednesday.

“The industrialization of mines and refinery capacities may not progress as quickly as demand increases. Should that happen, it would only delay e-mobility, but not prevent it,” Kaellenius said.

Carmakers are working to secure supplies of materials from lithium, nickel and manganese for batteries to magnesium for car components as they race to ramp up electric vehicle production, but rising raw material costs have dug into their margins.

Some, including Mercedes-Benz – which changed its name from Daimler on Tuesday after splitting from Daimler Truck – have lifted prices for consumers to cushion the blow.

Increases have recently been seen in response to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, which lowered production volumes throughout last year.

(By Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Jan Harvey and Miranda Murray)

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