Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd said it has signed a deal on Monday to supply lithium to Renault.
The deal comes as the latest move by an electric automaker to lock down the supply of the battery metal ahead of a projected increase in demand.
German-Australian start-up Vulcan will provide 6,000 to 17,000 tonnes of lithium annually to the French automaker from its geothermal brine deposits in Germany beginning in 2026, the companies said.
The five-year deal will be renewed if both parties agree.
Renault, together with brands including Alpine and Dacia, has said it would like 90% of the automaker’s models to be entirely electric by 2030. The company said Vulcan’s geothermal lithium production process, which has no carbon emissions, was the main appeal.
Vulcan prepares to invest 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) for building geothermal power stations and facilities to extract lithium, with the aim to start production of the white metal in 2024.