EVs Have Become Primary Driver of Cobalt Demand

Electric vehicles (EVs) surpassed smartphones and other electronic devices for the first time last year as the main driver of cobalt demand. The EV industry consumed 59,000 tonnes of the battery metal last year, accounting for 34% of the global total.

Smartphone manufacturers consumed 26,000 tonnes of cobalt and laptops and tablets used 16,000 tonnes of the battery metal. Total consumption of the metal reached 175,000 tonnes.

160,000 tonnes of cobalt was mined last year, highlighting one of the biggest issues the car industry faces as it goes electric, supply of battery metals.

Prices for cobalt, nickel, lithium and copper have skyrocketed since the start of 2021.

Battery producers have tried to use more lithium-iron-posphate chemistry, which doesn’t use either cobalt or nickel, but that tightens up the lithium market with spot prices doubling since the start of the year.

Global lithium industry is estimated to need as much as $42 billion of investment by the of the decade to meet demand.

The value of battery metals in newly registered passenger EVs around the world totaled $1.5 billion in December, increasing 192% year on year.

The world’s targets to achieve energy transition makes securing access to raw materials crucial. Cobalt’s role in batteries and recycling makes it one of the most important materials for a climate neutral future. The battery metal is appealing to the EV industry as it provides batteries with energy density to increase the vehicles’ range and the batteries’ life.

Supply comes mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a majority of the production is made by Glencore and Chinese companies.

Cobalt demand is estimated to grow to about 320,000 tonnes annually over the next five years, doubling 2021’s total consumption. The EV industry is expected to drive 70% of this growth.

It is also projected that supply will pick up this year and next, leading to a more balanced market. However, from 2024, cobalt availability will go down again, growing 8% a year, compared to more than 12% of demand growth, which will lead to significant deficits.

To secure raw materials, some manufacturers including Tesla and Volkswagen have announced intentions of becoming more involved in mining those materials.

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now


Do you need to access special insights on this matter?

Start your 7-day free trial  and become a member today


Subscribe to Top Insights Today

Subscribe to Executive Newsletter Top Insights Today

The Executive Newsletter -Top Insights Today- puts global business events in perspective through special insights

Join the ranks of global executives and subscribe to Top Insights Today

Top Insights Today covers insights on energy, clean-tech, oil&gas, mining, rare earths, defense, aviation, infrastructure, manufacturing, electrical vehicles, big-tech, finance and politics of business

By clicking subscribe you agree to our privacy and cookie policy and terms and conditions of use.

Read more insights

Australia’s Invictus to Start Drilling for Oil and Gas in Zimbabwe

Australia’s Invictus Energy is set to start drilling its first exploration well for oil and gas in Zimbabwe, the company’s Zimbabwean subsidiary announced on Friday. The first well, Mukuyu-1, situated in the Muzarabani-Mbire area, will be 3.5 kilometres (km) deep at a cost of $16 million, the Australian company’s local subsidiary Geo Associates said.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls for a Federal Privacy Law

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, together with a number of business groups, urged the Congress to pass a “comprehensive privacy legislation”. Otherwise, the chamber and business groups say, the patchwork of state laws on the issue will be hard to manage. 

Re-Appointed Powell Is Expected to be More Hawkish on Inflation

Newly renominated Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to accelerate the efforts at which the central bank normalizes monetary policy and better deal with rising consumer prices. Powell previously said they would be patient in raising benchmark interest rate from its near zero level, as he believed the current inflation was transitory.

Stay informed

error: This content is protected !!