Fledgling battery hub Western Australia is joining an electric vehicle program run by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to help identify any supply chain issues as EV sales ramp up.

These IEA programs encourage governments and organisations to pool resources for research, development, and deployment of EV technology.

The Critical Raw Materials for Electric Vehicles (CRM4EV) program will, as the name suggests, identify which minerals are critical for supporting rising EV sales and where it might encounter supply chain bottlenecks.

The Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) will play a central role in the program.

As a lithium production hub, Western Australia is well placed to assist with any potential supply chain issues for raw materials needed to make electric vehicles, says state Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Johnston.

“It’s great that MRIWA has joined this program as it closely aligns with the McGowan Government’s Future Battery Industry Strategy,” he says.

The state government, which doesn’t want to miss out on a $2 trillion market opportunity, has already launched the Future Battery Industry Strategy and formed a Lithium and Energy Materials Taskforce.

“Western Australia has all the minerals you need to make batteries and energy technologies, so joining CRM4EV will assist in creating greater opportunities and promoting our State’s capabilities throughout the European Union,” says Johnston.

Other CRM4EV participants include Germany, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

WA is already well on its way to becoming a significant battery hub.

In early April, the federal government named Western Australia as the home of the new $53 million Future Batteries Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBI CRC).

This research partnership of 58 industry, academic and government partners will address industry-identified gaps in the battery industries value chain. The ultimate goal is to expand battery minerals and chemicals production and develop opportunities for manufacturing batteries in Australia.