Enough nickel and lithium for 14 million electric vehicles in 2023 – European Climate Group

Battery trays with battery modules installed are seen during a visit to the opening of a Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle battery factory, marking one of seven sites producing batteries for their Mercedes-EQ models all-electric, in Woodstock, Alabama, U.S., March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

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May 3 (Reuters) – Data shows there is enough nickel and lithium to produce up to 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) globally in 2023, so Europe should secure more materials raw to get away from oil faster, campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) said on Tuesday.

In a study based on BloombergNEF data on global maximum volumes of battery-grade nickel and lithium for EVs, T&E said that by 2025 there would be enough to manufacture 21 million EVs worldwide.

Excluding Russian nickel, T&E said there should be enough feedstock for 19 million electric vehicles in 2025.

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Global electric vehicle sales more than doubled to 4.2 million vehicles in 2021, from just over 2 million in 2020.

Automotive consultancy LMC predicts global electric vehicle sales will reach 9 million in 2023 and 14.2 million in 2025.

Prices for electric vehicle battery materials have soared over the past year, with battery-grade nickel hitting new records after the invasion of Ukraine, with Russia being a major nickel producer.

Some analysts have warned of near-term battery supply bottlenecks as the auto industry rapidly ramps up production of zero-emission cars, which could then be followed by a glut as a plethora of mining projects and battery factories are coming online.

T&E said competition for lithium and nickel was fierce and noted that China and the United States had worked to secure access to these raw materials.

Europe must follow suit and create an agency to ensure the supply of “sustainably sourced critical metals”.

“As China and the United States show political strength to secure supplies of critical metals, European leaders are scouring the world for more oil,” said Julia Poliscanova, senior director of T&E. “Now is the time to focus on sourcing the sustainable raw materials the continent needs for our energy independence and a green future.”

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Reporting by Nick Carey Editing by Mark Potter

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