Will e-mobility run out of raw materials??

Will e-mobility run out of raw materials??-materials

The energy transition is important and necessary, but is often based on raw materials whose availability is limited. According to a study by the German Economic Institute, important raw materials are already becoming scarce. The supply situation is particularly critical for the raw materials cobalt, lithium and graphite currently used for electric car batteries. The known cobalt reserves would therefore only last about eleven years if, as expected, 36 million new electric cars come onto the market by 2030.

The managing director of the institute, Karl Lichtblau, gives the all-clear. There is no need to panic, but the market development would be “a warning signal that something needs to be done at all levels”, as he emphasizes. In Germany in particular, research is already being carried out into cobalt-free batteries, with increasing emphasis being placed on lithium iron phosphate or lithium sulphur. Manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes and Tesla have also significantly reduced the amount of cobalt in their batteries. But still remains the lithium in which the supply situation is also precarious despite great worldwide presents.

Recently, large lithium deposits were discovered in Germany, deep under the Rhine. 15 million tons of lithium are said to be dormant there, making it the largest lithium deposit in the world. A lithium mining site is also being developed in Carinthia, Austria. In addition, the Association of Bavarian Business (vbw), which commissioned the raw materials study, calls for raw material partnerships with other countries to be promoted in terms of foreign and development aid policy in order to secure the supply of raw materials.

However, great hopes are also placed on the recycling of used e-batteries. There is still a chicken and egg problem to solve. Although there are already thousands of tons of recyclable batteries every year (predominantly of cell production, as well as from pre-series and prototype manufacturing, in the lower extent also actually dead-driven), but recycling is complex and expensive. The recovery of the individual pure substances requires several complex processing steps and is only worthwhile for large quantities. vbw CEO Bertram Bossardt is therefore calling for a “sustainable strategy for a circular economy” and more research activities from the economy. In order to bundle the quantities, transnational cooperation is also required.

Sources: automobile week.en – Study – Critical supply situation for raw materials: cobalt reserves will last eleven years, lithium scarce //special waste knowledge.de – Electric car batteries without cobalt on the upswing//tagesschau.de – The German lithium treasure

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7 thoughts on “Will e-mobility run out of raw materials??”

  1. Small e-cars need small batteries, so few raw materials. Big E-suburban tanks need big batteries, so lots of raw materials. How many cars do you need to get 80kg of people from A to B?? Everyone should ask themselves: how much % of my current vehicle serves the benefit – and how much % the ego?

  2. E-cars are not running out of raw materials. In contrast, the battery-electric long-distance armored car with batteries beyond 100kWh.
    For car with a 100kWh battery, you could make 3 cars with 33kWh batteries. A reasonably designed car can drive about 200km with it. If you want more, you shouldn’t just bunker more batteries in a primitive way, but choose a more sensible, lighter and more environmentally friendly technology in which the energy capacity and (generator) output can be scaled separately.

  3. After a lecture by H.J. Fell (the next global economic crisis, caused by a shortage of oil reserves …) were used in 2019 7% of the globally gained kobalt in BEVs (the proportion is currently being noticeable), but 30% in everyday small appliances such as smartphones, laptops u. the like., and the lion’s share for various industrial applications outside of e-mobility.
    Before the German deposits were mentioned, it was said that there was 10 times as much lithium as lead.
    So I can’t understand the pessimism suggested in the title.

  4. Hopefully soon. That’s no use anyway. Where is the electricity supposed to come from?? Maybe from the sooo popular and harmless nuclear power plants?? And what to do with the nuclear waste? Each 1kg in his allotment??

  5. There are also cobalt-free battery technologies. But I doubt that you can do without lithium altogether in the short term. It is all the more important that the lithium can be easily recovered from old batteries. However, Grafen can be made from the high-purity carbon that would result from methane pyrolysis or methane plasmalysis. Both methods are already promising widely developed.

    That would then have multiple uses: CO2 avoidance, hydrogen production, carbon production, avoidance of methane in the atmosphere. And the North Stream pipelines would not have been built uselessly. We would then only have to finally regain sovereign rights over our gas caverns (as a buffer). MyFia-SchrOdi transferred that to the Russians.


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