Several countries and the EU have marked certain materials as Critical Raw Materials (CRMs). This is related to perceived risks in market supply, environmental impacts, recycling challenges, issues with responsible sourcing or a lack of attractive substitutes for important applications. Applications can be in renewable energy technologies, automotive, consumer electronics, health, steel-making, defence, space exploration or aviation for example.
While this is the broader picture of Critical Raw Materials, CRM4EV is specifically concerned with those CRMs used in the production of Electric Vehicles and which may or may not correspond with the various CRM lists issues by separate countries and the EU.
In the current scope of CRM4EV are Cobalt, Graphite, Lithium, Nickel, Dysprosium, Neodymium, Praseodymium and several materials like Niobium and Tin are under consideration to be included in the scope while others may be added later as well, especially materials potentially being used in new battery chemistries.
CRMs considered necessary for the production and technological development of Electric Vehicles, for example Lithium, Cobalt and Nickel are essential in the production of the current mainstream battery technologies. The Rare Earths Dysprosium, Neodymium and Praseodymium are used in electro-motors using Permanent Magnets, the currently most used motor technology for EVs.
As it is believed that the future will see a much larger deployment of electric vehicles all over the world, it is very important that we get as clear a picture as possible on the potential issues associated with the need for CRMs in this technological field and identify ways to overcome such problems.