Tesla global supply manager for battery metals Sarah Maryssael has warned that the boom in demand for electric vehicles could lead to a global shortage of metals like nickel, copper, and other metals that are used in electric car batteries, according to a Reuters report. She was speaking regarding the topic at an event that was attended by miners, lawmakers, and regulators. Later on, a Tesla spokesperson said that though this is not likely to have an impact on the short-term supply of such metals, over the long-term. There is likely to be some shortage of the metals that are typically used for electric cars.
One of these metals is Copper, which is used heavily in EVs, with the highest amount being used in the engines of electric cars. Twice as much copper is needed in the case of electric cars than in the case of conventional vehicles which run on internal combustion engines. With more and more motorists switching to electric cars in the interest f sustainability, there is definitely cause for concern regarding a possible scarcity in the supply of such metals in the future.
Such metals are needed not just in the electric vehicle industry. Metals like copper are also needed for the production of devices like Apple’s Alexa and Alphabet’s Nest smart thermostat. With the demand for these devices also growing, consultancy BSRIA has projected that the demand for the copper used for the production of these two products will increase from 38,000 tons to date to 1.5 million tons in 2030.
In view of this fact, it is disheartening to note that there has not been much investment in copper mining and this could have a significant impact on the supply of copper in the future. Obtaining such metals from ethical sources is also a major concern, especially in the case of cobalt. Cobalt is generally sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is known for the widespread use of child labor and artisanal cobalt mining.
The only other option is to source battery metals from ethical locations, and Tesla is already doing this through partnerships with miners in Australia, Canada, and Chile.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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