Supply of strategic raw materials must be improved. Dependency on imports poses risks.
The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) on Thursday published a report on the status quo of rare earth supply in Europe. The report, dubbed a “Call for Action,” focuses primarily on permanent magnets, which are needed for electric cars, among other things, and are thus of great importance for Europe’s transformation to climate neutrality. The authors point out the great dependence on the import of magnets from China. 98% of these components needed for the traction motors of 95% of electric cars in the EU come from China. The number of zero-emission cars and the demand for raw materials will increase significantly due to the foreseeable end of the combustion engine in the EU, and thus also the dependence on China. There is therefore an urgent need for action to prevent the manufacture of electric motors from moving out of Europe and numerous jobs from being lost. To prevent this, the entire value chain must be considered. The reuse of raw materials must be addressed, as must the search for substitute materials. The extraction and processing of rare earths must also take place in Europe, because the deposits are available. Politicians are also called upon to provide European manufacturers with the framework conditions they need to become competitive with Asian competitors.