As carmakers gear up to electrify their fleets, a new scramble for resources is under way to ensure there is enough raw material for a rapid expansion of battery production. Electric car batteries rely on a host of materials – from lithium to nickel, cobalt and graphite – while some cars also use motors that require rare earths. Prices have soared rapidly over the past year, with cobalt, a greyish metal mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, up more than 190 per cent over the past 18 months. Carmakers and battery producers are rushing to lock in supply agreements from mining companies for the metals as forecasts for consumer uptake of electric vehicles increase and governments launch policies to back a shift away from combustion engines.
FT 24th Oct 2017 read more »