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Shortage of Rechargeable battery materials could threaten electric cars’ survival, firm warns

An Electric car
An Electric car

Electric cars’ future seems to be a bit shaky as a popular US-based battery firm issues a warning. It states that the future of the electric car industry may be hampered by a global shortage of battery material.

Tesla which is a leading electric cars manufacturer has notified the U.S. government for their support to invest in the mining industry to ensure ongoing availability of the main raw minerals like nickel, and copper required for the making of lithium-ion batteries.

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Reuter’s report made availability by interesting engineering noted that Tesla’s supply chain manager, Sarah Maryssael, raised the concerns at an industry conference on Thursday.  The firm has scarcely said anything publicly as regard to its position in the broader resources sector. The experts of the firm noted that electric cars use twice as much copper than the normal internal combustion engine cars.

the reported that the copper manufacturing industries have been in a lull in the last few years, suffering from under development that is now rapidly changing.

More mines are now developed and the older sites being rapidly refurbished to deliver on the increasing demand. Besides the electric cars, other devices such as the Amazon Echo and other home assistants require large amounts of copper in their production, all these contributed to the skyrocketing demand for copper.

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Based on data presented from consultancy BSRIA, these devices will take up to 1.5 million tons of copper by 2030, up from 38,000 tons today. Sources present at the presentation said the Tesla supply chain manager noted that Tesla will focus on using Nickel rather than cobalt in battery cathodes.

While the scarcity of cobalt is still a factor, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been a primary mining location for cobalt. However, because of the reported issues of an extremely poor reputation for using child labor, the firm seems to look for cobalt and other minerals from mines in Australia and the U.S. to avoid being found supportive of unethical work conditions.

The report noted that over 100 people attended the closed-door conference, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and Standard Lithium Ltd, pioneer ltd and other companies working to develop U.S. lithium mines.

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Meanwhile, in another development,  Paris and Germany earlier the week teamed up to announce a 5 billion to 6 billion Euros initiative to finance advanced battery research and create battery factories in Europe. This is another push towards innovation for better functional electric cars and possibly other devices secondary source of energy.

French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, at the press conference of the announcement, noted that the investment shows Europe is not relenting on its pursuit for renewable energy, and should not depend completely on the two major renewable energy power makers in the world which are the U.S. and China.

Europe is determined to become a player in the battery field. Maros Sefcovic, the EU vice president for energy told the European Battery Conference in Brussels on Thursday. “I can tell you that our non-European competitors are getting worried. But at the same time, we cannot be naïve, as we are catching up slowly.”

One of the first projects under the new agreement will be a pilot factory in France that is reportedly set to employ more than 200 people.

Originally posted 2019-06-01 16:50:27.

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