Is the electric vehicle metals boom sustainable?
The metals used in electric vehicles, such as lithium, cobalt and copper, are at the heart of the revolution currently taking place in the automotive industry. Strict regulations, government support programmes, and the increased use of electric vehicles in certain regions are all strongly stimulating demand for these metals, which are now indispensable in the manufacture of batteries. Imbalances between supply and demand are thus pushing up their prices, even though the market share of electric vehicles remains modest. In its latest analysis, Coface does not foresee any major changes in these price trends over the next two years.
The different battery configurations, or the possible use of hydrogen as an energy source, will not reduce the pressure on the use of these metals, even if the high cost of their integration contributes to encouraging research and development in alternative technologies. However, these efforts could change the situation in the longer term, with strong competition between countries wishing to gain an advantage in the next generation of vehicles.