Battery and ‘green’ metals brighten outlook for mining sector – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – April 6, 2021)

The transition to electric vehicles could take a decade or two but demand for the key metals in batteries and energy storage systems will only continue to grow as the shift to a greener future gains traction.

China currently leads the world in EV and battery production. The latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to BMO Capital Markets, show that sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in February were 585% higher than the same month in 2020, and the country’s production of lithium-ion batteries jumped 108% year-on-year to 18.25 billion units annually in the months of January and February.

The U.S. wants to catch up. Under U.S. President Joe Biden’s US$2.3 trillion infrastructure renewal and job creation plan announced last week, US$174 billion has been earmarked for EVs.

Some of the money will be spent on tax credits, rebates and other incentives for consumers, businesses and government that will lower the cost of EVs; and some of it will be spent on helping to build a network of 500,000 public charging stations by 2030. It also calls for procuring EVs for federal agencies, such as the Postal Service.

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