E-cars: There are enough raw materials

E-cars: There are enough raw materials
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Christian Boas

Even if the proportion of electric vehicles on German roads increases significantly by 2050, demand for raw materials for electromobility can be covered. This is the conclusion of a recent analysis by the Öko-Institut. The global deposits of lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and platinum exceed the projected demand significantly.

Environmental and social standards
However, the experts at the eco-Institute also point to the important role played by the state “in order to develop electromobility without temporary bottlenecks”. In addition, maximum environmental and social standards should be respected when promoting raw materials. In the study “Strategies for the sustainable supply of raw materials for electromobility. Synthesis paper on the raw material requirements for batteries and fuel cells “, the experts point out that recycling should complement the promotion of raw materials.

However, the raw material requirement can be dampened by the use of recycled secondary material. With lithium, a contribution of ten percent can be achieved by the year 2030 and 40 percent by 2050. “However, lithium recycling has not yet taken place in Europe. It should, however, be developed rapidly in both Europe and the rest of the world, and research in this area should be intensified, “the Öko-Institut says.


“The lithium example shows that temporary shortages or price increases for individual raw materials can occur,” the study authors emphasized.

Lithium is the key element now contained in all lithium-ion batteries of electric vehicles. The calculations of the Öko-Institut show that if a total of 35,000 tonnes of lithium were still produced in 2015, the demand for electromobility for the year 2030 will rise to just under 160,000 tonnes and for the year 2050 to just under 500,000 tonnes. Global lithium resources of around 47 million tonnes are opposed to this.

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