EV manufacturers and tech companies pledge to exclude ocean minerals from their supply chains

BMW, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and joined by Samsung SDI, Google and Volvo Group, announced that it is committing to not use minerals mined from the ocean in their electric vehicle batteries. This announcement—which will make waves in the electric vehicle (EV) market—makes clear the rapid growth in EVs needed for tackling climate change does not need to be responsible for severe and irreversible damage to ocean biodiversity, fisheries and carbon stores. 

By committing to excluding ocean minerals from their supply chains, these companies offer a powerful refutation to the argument by the growing ocean mining industry that we must open up international waters to mining as soon as this year to obtain the metals to build batteries central to this shift toward electrification. In their announcement, these companies also show their support for improved resource efficiency to reduce demand for primary minerals—innovations in battery chemistry, technology and recycling are already reducing mineral demand for next-gen EVs and batteries.

BMW’s continued leadership on sustainable mineral sourcing shows the world that there is a viable alternate pathway to fast-tracking this ramp-up in automotive electrification—without the need to send massive mining machines into the ocean.

Prof. Douglas McCauley, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, said:

“Today’s announcement brings BMW, Volvo, Samsung and Google in alignment with over 90 NGOs, environmental leaders like David Attenborough and ocean scientists around the world that have all spoken out on the hazards of mining the ocean. By rejecting ocean mining, these companies are helping to protect some of the planet’s oldest corals, whales, beautiful and mysterious deep-sea octopus and countless other ocean species that have not yet been discovered. I can only hope that Tesla, Renault, Volkswagen, GM and the world’s other big EV manufacturers have taken note of BMW’s leadership on ocean protection.”

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