Batteries are the core technology for EVs. The improvements in cost and performance of the Lithium-ion batteries used determines whether and how rapidly the transition of road transport to electric drive can take place. By far the largest application in terms of volume of CRMs required will be in the light vehicle market, cars and light commercial vehicles. Beyond road transport, batteries also will support decarbonisation in aviation and shipping and be used for stationary storage applications.
The current best performing battery chemistries for cars enabling the transition to e-drive while delivering the performance required by consumers and users are based on NCM or NCA chemistries, requiring Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium as CRMs.
Task 40 CRM4EV will explore how these chemistries and their need for the specific CRMs will likely or possibly evolve. This will be an important input for the scenarios which will be made and of which an output will be the total range of possible volumes of CRMs needed in time, up to 2050. As the current market share of EVs, in the car market, is around 2% the potential requirements for the different CRMs will far exceed their total annual demand currently, this could be the case for Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium.
This also demonstrates the need for the reduction of environmental and social impacts and the “circular economy” approach across the battery value chains as addressed in Task 40 CRM4EV as well. For this, all steps in the value chain, from mining, refining, smelting, cell manufacturing and battery pack manufacturing and including recycling will have to be optimised.