Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) this week signed an agreement to purchase lithium hydroxide for its electric vehicle (EV) batteries from China’s Ganfeng Lithium Group, a company estimated to be the world’s largest global producer of lithium.

The deal was effective immediately and intended to provide the automaker with a stable supply of raw materials as it looks to ramp up global output for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) over the next few years. Details of the deal were not disclosed, including volume and the length of the contract.

This was the second direct lithium supply contract signed by HMG this year after last week’s contract to source lithium hydroxide from Shenzhen Chengxin Lithium Group over the next four years.

Until recently, lithium supply deals have normally been signed by battery manufacturers and these two contracts are Hyundai Motor Group’s first to be signed directly with lithium suppliers.

Lithium prices last year plunged to their lowest level since 2021 and the automaker was locking in prices to protect itself from future price spikes.

The deal followed recent moves by other automakers, including General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Tesla and Stellantis, to buy stakes in lithium miners and smelting companies to secure supplies of battery raw materials.

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HMG, which includes Hyundai Motor and Kia Corporation, was targeting global BEV sales of 3.6 million annually by 2030.