Opinion: Indonesia’s bid for EV nickel supremacy is doomed to failure – by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (The Telegram/Yahoo News – January 19, 2024)


When Indonesia launched its bid to corner the world’s nickel market and gain a stranglehold on electric vehicles, it overlooked one crucial detail. Battery technology is moving so fast that the world may not need the nickel after all. Indonesia is cutting down its rainforests and polluting the Coral Triangle for what looks increasingly like a commercial mirage.

Cheap and safe LFP batteries (lithium iron phosphate) are already so good that they have conquered 70pc of the EV mass market in China. They use neither nickel nor cobalt.

The latest twist is a hybrid using manganese as a cathode that leaps up the quality scale and radically alters the calculus of what minerals may be needed for the electrification of global road transport. This new “LMFP” technology approaches the energy density and range of standard high-nickel batteries used in almost every EV sold in Europe and America, but at two thirds of the cost.

“I can walk into a showroom in Shanghai today and for roughly $50,000 I can buy a ZEEKR 001 that gets me 1,000 kms range and can be recharged in eight minutes,” said Ken Hoffman, head of battery materials at McKinsey.

For the rest of this column: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/indonesia-bid-ev-nickel-supremacy-120000338.html