European carmakers have secured less than a sixth of the key raw materials they will need by 2030 to make electric vehicle batteries, according to analysis reported by the Guardian newspaper.

According to public disclosures analysed by Brussels based Transport & Environment (T&E), automakers have secured contracts for 16% of the lithium, cobalt and nickel required to hit their 2030 electric car sales targets.

Tesla and China were significantly further ahead of many of their European rivals in securing access to key raw materials, the researchers reportedly found.

The Guardian said analysis suggested carmakers had disclosed agreements that would cover only 14% of the lithium, 17% of the nickel and 10% of the cobalt needed to meet their targets for 2030.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and emobility at T&E, told the paper: “There is a clear disconnect between carmakers’ electric vehicle [EV] goals and their critical mineral strategies. Tesla and BYD are way ahead of most European players, who are only waking up to the challenge of securing battery metals now.”

T&E also said Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Hyundai/Kia were the carmakers with large European operations that were lagging furthest behind rivals. Ford, Volkswagen and Stellantis had disclosed plans for battery mineral supply that rival Tesla and BYD.

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The analysis tallied with forecasts from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence saying demand for some key materials would significantly outstrip supply in the coming decade, the Guardian said.

According to the report, Benchmark predicted lithium demand would quadruple by 2030 but its forecasts suggested a shortfall of 390,000 tonnes in 2030, compared with global production of 2.7m tonnes. It also predicts shortfalls of cobalt and nickel.