The European Union has added lithium, used in batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), to a list of critical materials that it plans to support locally as part of a strategy to reduce reliance on imported supply.
The group of 27 nations will need about 60 times more lithium and 15 times more cobalt for EV batteries and energy storage by 2050, analysts estimate. EU demand for rare earths, used in high-tech devices and military applications, is predicted to increase 10-fold over the same period.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the world’s increasing reliance on electronics and technology for remote work, education and communication.
As a result, shortages of the key elements needed in the manufacturing of those items threaten to undermine crucial industries and expose the EU to supply squeezes by China and other resource-rich countries, the Commission said.
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