The world is turning towards renewable energy and we've noticed the growing interest in the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. From 2015 to 2019, annual EV sales rose from 450,000 to approximately 2 million! That is a lot of electric cars! Despite the growth, EVs still represent just 2.6% of total car sales, with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles still making up the vast majority of the 75 million unit new car market. BUT! Battery prices have dropped 22% about every year since 2009 and this could mean a push towards the EV future!
Batteries are made out of multiple minerals like Lithium Graphite, Copper, Aluminium, and Cobalt. That is where it gets ugly... A large part of the Cobalt comes from a place called the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There has been some mal-practice with the Cobalt mining that involves human rights abuses, child labor, and negative environmental effects. It is getting better but Companies and governments have slowly been introducing incentives to reduce the amount of Cobalt needed by exploring alternatives and pledging for a more responsible supply chain.
If the world is needing Cobalt to power it, and more than 50% of Cobalt is mined in the DRC, why is there no influx of wealth? The supply chains are complex and well, a majority of these megafactories are owned by Chinese Companies. China has been building the battery supply chain by securing the supply of raw materials for lithium ion production!
Check out our conversation on what is the future of battery supply chains. Will it be dominated by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC)?