The adoption and growth of electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating at an unprecedented pace, but there’s a catch — nickel. The metal, essential for the lithium batteries that power the future of transportation, is at risk of running short.
There is a bigger issue at stake than simply not having enough of the vital metal. Ironically, while the EV movement is greener and more sustainable, if North America does not ramp up its nickel production, it might continue to lean on coal-powered Indonesian nickel, a less eco-friendly alternative.
Current Abundance, Future Crisis
Looking back to 2021, EV demand shot up by a staggering 100%, a surprising growth rate that shocked analysts. Moreover, nickel, used extensively in the manufacturing of EV batteries, witnessed a demand spike of 15% per year. Because of the demand, it began outpacing the growth of other base metals by three to five times. That has begged the question: is the US equipped to meet this surging demand?
Greg Beischer, the CEO of Alaska Energy Metals, underscores the significance of this demand, emphasizing North America’s need to bolster its nickel resources. And it is not only to cater to the existing stainless steel demand but to satisfy this surging EV appetite. After all, the surge is projected to span decades, so there is no escaping it.
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