The rise in demand for electric vehicles will require increased mining for metals and possibly increasing environmental consequences.
With all major auto manufacturers bringing electric vehicles into production in an effort to catch up to the popularity of Tesla, there will be a rising demand for metals and other resources necessary for the manufacture of millions of new batteries. This raises concerns about the environmental and social impact of more intense mining operations.
In a report in the journal Nature Reviews Materials, British earth scientist Richard Herrington points out that by the year 2035, there could be 245 million battery electric vehicles on the road.
In addition, there will be a huge demand for stationary batteries needed for energy storage to compensate for the less consistent output of clean energy sources such as wind and solar.
As we move toward a carbon-free energy future, Herrington identifies 12 elements that will see increasing demand. These are essential ingredients for batteries, and for the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels.