Battery Metals Report 2023/03
The e-car industry is now well established, as is impressively demonstrated by new production facilities opening almost daily, as well as supplier companies in the form of smaller plants through to the so-called "gigafactories". The worldwide number of newly registered, electrically powered vehicles (cars) has developed at least as impressively, increasing almost a hundredfold from 2012 to 2022. While only around 125,000 pure electric vehicles and hybrids were registered worldwide in 2012, this figure had risen to almost 11 million units by 2022. By 2025, e-car registrations will double again to at least 23 million units per year, according to industry experts. At the same time, the capacities of the batteries required will continue to increase and at a faster rate, from around 46 KWh in 2022 to around 54 KWh in 2025.
The big question that arises is: Can the electric (car) revolution continue at this pace? Because there is already a supply shortfall for several metals needed for batteries. Such as lithium, where 436,000 metric tons were mined in 2021, but demand was 465,000 tons. The situation is similar for other important battery metals such as nickel and cobalt, as well as copper and tin, both of which are not used in batteries, or only to a limited extent, but are used to connect the battery to many individual electronic components in vehicles and other storage media.
The prices for these metals have therefore already skyrocketed. Lithium, in particular, has experienced an immense price surge in recent months. Lithium and nickel are therefore currently the two metals for which the mining industry is far from being able to meet the coming demand. This became all the more obvious when Tesla CEO Elon Musk literally begged mining companies to develop new nickel mines in 2020.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), even projected in one of its recent reports that the industry will need to bring 50 more lithium mines, 60 more nickel mines and 17 more cobalt mines online by 2030 to meet global net carbon emission targets.
For investors, this is therefore an excellent opportunity to enter the world of battery metals right now.