SINGAPORE (Apr 2): Tesla and BYD Co are synonymous with electric vehicles (EVs). Now, the big German companies are muscling in. BMW announced that it spent €10.8 billion ($17.5 billion) on R&D and capital expenditure in 2017, up 20% y-o-y. In March, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that BMW was close to signing a 10-year supply contract for lithium and cobalt. Cobalt, manganese and nickel are some of the raw materials used for lithium-ion EV batteries. BMW has also tied up with a London-based start-up to use transaction-recording technology blockchain to prove that batteries for its EVs will contain only clean cobalt.

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