Still record sales for electric cars, but risks for supplies of raw materials

To continue to increase sales of electric cars Greater efforts will be needed to diversify battery production and critical mineral supplies to reduce the risk of bottlenecks and sharp price increases.

This is what emerges from “Global Electric Vehicle Outlook” (attached below) prepared byThe International Energy Agency, IEA.

The report expects sales of electric cars to continue to break records, but a number of critical issues are looming supply of minerals for batteries.

According to the 2021 survey, sales of electric cars (including electric and plug-in hybrids) double compared to the previous year, and reached the new record of 6.6 million.

In 2021 almost 10% of world turnover of the cars were electric, 4 times the market share in 2019; it has brought the total number of electric cars on the roads up to approx 16.5 milliontripled compared to 2018, as can be seen from the graph taken from the report.

I 2022global electric car sales continue to rise, with 2 million sales in the first quarter, up by 75% compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the report, this increase was primarily made possible by public spending grants and incentiveswhich nearly doubled in 2021: nearly $ 30 billion.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of countries have committed to gradually eliminate internal combustion engines or to have ambitious goals for vehicle electrification in the coming decades.

Many car manufacturers they plan to electrify their fleets by going far beyond government targets: in 2021, there were five times more electric car models than in 2015.

Another aspect that emerges from the report is the significant focus on critical minerals as the battery markets expand. Six prices of materials and metals in 2022, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, will remain as high as in the first quarter (see graph), battery packs can all else equal cost up to 15% more than in 2021.

European and US governments have launched several initiatives to develop nationwide battery production, but most of the supply chain is likely to remain in China until 2030, where it will have 70% of global production capacity.

It is hoped that the innovation in new chemicals, such as manganese-rich cathodes or sodium ions, can further reduce the pressure on mining. The contribution from Recycling it will be crucial after 2030 to reduce dependence on key minerals for the sector.

Iea’s recommendations

This is stated in the IEA report five recommendations to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles around the world:

1. Maintain and adapt support for electric cars: Compensating programs that tax inefficient internal combustion motor vehicles to fund low-emission subsidies or to purchase electric vehicles can be a useful tool.

2. Launch of the market for heavy transport: Electric buses and trucks become competitive based on total cost of ownership; specific policies can help kickstart this sector with emissions commitments for vehicle sales, purchase incentives and CO2 standards.

Promote the use of electric vehicles in emerging and developing economies: the electrification of road transport in emerging and developing economies should give priority to two- and three-wheeled vehicles and city buses, which are certainly more competitive in terms of cost.

4. Expand the infrastructure for electric vehicles and intelligent networks: Governments should continue to support the deployment of publicly available charging infrastructure, at least until there are enough electric vehicles on the road to make it convenient for a private operator to invest in charging infrastructure.

5. Ensure safe, robust and sustainable supply chains for electric vehicles: electrification of road transport requires a wide range of raw materials and while all supplies need to be increased, mining and processing will remain critical due to long delivery times. Governments will need to encourage private investment in the sustainable extraction of metals used in batteries and guarantee clear and rapid approval procedures, environmentally sustainable, to avoid the risk of supply chain bottlenecks.

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