The A$76 million ($52 million) investment would make Stellantis the company’s second-largest investor with an 8% holding.
“We understand this represents the world’s first upstream investment in a listed lithium company by a top tier automaker,” Vulcan wrote on Twitter.
“Making this highly strategic investment in a leading lithium company will help us create a resilient and sustainable value chain for our European electric vehicle battery production,” Stellantis chief executive Carlos Tavares said.
Stellantis, formed in 2021 by a merger of the US-Italian conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group, has one of the most ambitious electrifications strategies among major carmakers.
Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goal
It aims to reach 100% of passenger car battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) sales in Europe by 2030.
Stellantis also increased its planned battery capacity by 140 gigawatt hours (GWh) to about 400 GWh, to be supported by five battery manufacturing plants in Europe and North America, together with additional supply contracts.
“It is encouraging to see a leading automaker investing in local, decarbonised lithium production for electric vehicles,” Vulcan’s chief executive Francis Wedin said in an Australian stock exchange filing.
The company’s stock rose 23% in Sydney morning trading on Friday. Its Frankfurt listed shares rose 4.7% on Thursday.
Vulcan is aiming to become the world’s first lithium producer with net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The company produces battery-quality lithium hydroxide from its operations in Germany.
- George Russell