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Scientists Predict Incoming Nickel Shortage, Could See EV Production Grind to a Halt

The all-electric revolution is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean the path forward will be all smooth sailing. The latest reports by Rystad energy foresee a profound shortage of nickel could be imminent as soon as a few years from now.
Nickel Mining 6 photos
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Nickel, while not the first element most commonly associated with electric car batteries, is still a vital component of nearly every EV on the road. According to the research group Rystad Energy, the current global demand for raw nickel alloys hovers around 2.5 million tons per year. With the need for electric drivetrains growing at a break-neck pace, it’s possible for an increase of as much as one-third over the course of the next two to five years.

A rise from a demand of 2.5 to 3.4 million tons of nickel by 2024 would wander dangerously close to maxing out the global yearly supply the global supply chain can realistically refine in a single year. In this scenario, the end result may be a global EV shortage similar to the one we see with the current microchip shortage plaguing not only EVs but the industry at large.

Meanwhile, most European Union nations and several key states like California and New York have already announced the coming ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by the mid-2030s at the latest. While no doubt a PR win for the governments who enacted these laws, it also does no favors for a supply of battery-making materials that’s likely not in a position as of yet to take on the global auto infrastructure.

Automakers like Tesla and Volkswagen have already pledged to design batteries that don’t require nickel in their construction as a permanent solution to the issue of scarcity. Whether they’ll prove to be successful is anyone’s guess. But if they’re not, it could see the EV revolution grind to halt in only a couple of years.

 
 
 
 
 

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