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Johnson Matthey doubles down on electric ambitions as it strikes two key deals

The FTSE 100 group has secured a site in Poland from which it will make its eLNO battery materials, while it has also signed a long-term lithium supply deal

electric car charging
Johnson Matthey hopes the move into electric will help it survive the slow death of diesel cars

Johnson Matthey PLC (LON:JMAT) has doubled down on its efforts to move into the world of electric vehicles (EV) amid declining demand for diesel cars.

The FTSE 100 group makes catalytic converters for a third of the world’s cars but it has been developing a new type of battery material called eLNO, which it hopes will help it tap into the growing EV market.

READ: Johnson Matthey post 19% rise in first-half profits

Johnson has today secured a site in Poland where it will build a commercial manufacturing plant for eLNO, which it reckons is cheaper and more powerful than materials currently used in EV batteries.

One of the key components of those batteries is lithium, and the company has signed a ten-year supply deal with Canadian miner Nemaska Lithium.

Johnson Matthey said the “two important developments” keep it on track to start commercial production in 2021/22. It plans to start supplying battery-makers by 2022/23.

“These two developments that we have announced today demonstrate that we are well on track with the commercialisation of eLNO,” said chief executive Robert Macleod.

“Having applied our world-class science to create eLNO technology that outperforms the market for customers, we are commercialising our technology for them through flexible, scalable manufacturing capacity in Poland and a secure supply of vital lithium-based raw materials.”

“We are firmly delivering in line with our strategy for break-out growth in Battery Materials and JM remains well placed for success as the global market for electric vehicles develops.”

Shares rose 2.1% to 3,178p on Thursday morning.

Quick facts: Johnson Matthey PLC

Price: 2989 GBX

LSE:JMAT
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £5.78 billion
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