Subaru CEO: working with suppliers to lower procurement risks of EV battery materials

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Subaru is working with suppliers to decrease risks related to procuring materials used in electric-vehicle batteries, it chief executive said on Wednesday, as automakers grapple with China’s move to curb exports of graphite.

China, the world’s largest producer and exporter of the key material used in EV batteries, will require export permits as of Dec. 1 for some graphite products, a regulation experts say could push automakers to develop alternative sources and materials.

“There are risks involved in every kind of material, not only graphite. We want to procure resources while considering various risk hedges,” Chief Executive Atsushi Osaki told reporters on the sidelines of the Japan Mobility Show, which opened to the press on Wednesday, a day ahead of its official start.

“We are working with suppliers to come up with measures to deal” with the risks, he said.

China’s move could also escalate trade disputes globally and highlights the importance for automakers in reducing their resource dependence on the world’s second-largest economy.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Daniel Leussink; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)