Daimler Claims EV Battery Sustainability Will Be the Next Great Automotive Challenge

The global auto industry's latest obsession is the notion that batteries in electric vehicles need not pollute the environment in the way they have in the past. Different automakers have come up with unique solutions to this issue. But Daimler, at the very least, is not shy about the difficulty of accomplishing such a feat.
Daimler 6 photos
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Renata Jungo Bruengger, Daimler's head of integrity and legal affairs, spoke candidly with Bloomberg this week, discussing exactly this matter. Brunger noted how remarkably fragile EV supply chains might be stretched at the moment. This doesn't bode well for the future, with nearly all European nations and key US states like New York, Illinois, and California prepping to ban new ICE engine sales by the 2030s.

"Cobalt, lithium, nickel, rare earths, those will remain the problematic cases," Jungo Bruengger said in an interview. "You have got long supply lines in parts and countries with significant challenges," Bruengger noted. The German auto executive is not wrong for their concern about scarcity. Worries about China being unable to keep up with the global demand for magnesium is only the tip of this scarcity iceberg.

Elements more closely related to EVs like lithium and nickel are not exempt from their share of scarcity issues either. In total, over 20 different elements have been identified as posing the greatest threat to EV manufacturing the world over. Daimler plans to make their EV supply chain 100% transparent by the time this decade is out.

Daimler has the dubious task of balancing the satisfaction of its consumers, environmental sustainability, and meeting the demands of its investors. As the clock ticks to midnight on the internal combustion engine, the pressure to adapt to electric power will become like a crucible. Automakers that fail to adapt will promptly find themselves bankrupt, so Daimler best break out the lab coat and the chemistry set to start coming up with solutions.
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