Exxon looks to EV boom as oil giant is in talks to supply lithium to Tesla and other automakers, report says

  • Exxon Mobil is in talks with car manufacturers to become a lithium supplier, sources told Bloomberg.
  • That includes Tesla, Volkswagen, and Ford. Battery manufacturers such as Samsung are also involved.
  • The oil giant is putting effort into jo ining the EV race, already drilling for lithium in Arkansas.

Exxon Mobil is in early-stage talks to provide lithium to car manufacturers that include Tesla, Ford, and Volkswagen, sources told Bloomberg on Monday. 

It’s part of the oil giant’s effort to boost its participation in the electric vehicle

market, as demand for the cleaner cars threatens its core oil business. 

Neither of the named automakers responded immediately to Insider, while Exxon declined to comment. The talks also include battery

manufacturers Samsung and SK On, according to Bloomberg. 

Lithium is a key component in EV batteries, and Albemarle is among the lithium producers that Exxon is also talking to, the report added.

The chemical company told Bloomberg in a statement that, “given Albemarle’s leadership role in the market, people routinely want to speak with us — especially when looking at potential resources.”

Last month, the International Energy Agency predicted global oil demand will peak before the end of the decade. Meanwhile, Exxon has previously set sights on extracting 100,000 tons of the metal per year.

In late June, the company reached a deal with Tetra Technologies to mine 6,100 lithium-bearing acres in Arkansas, and has already begun drilling. It’s yet to be determined whether the firm aims to produce the metal in partnership or on its own.

The land deal was the second major move the company has taken this year to secure lithium.

Exxon has also indicated that it is considering extracting lithium from underground saltwater, through a process that could save money and be less environmentally damaging, Bloomberg reports.