Demand for a form of nickel needed in electric-vehicle batteries is starting to outpace supply
SYDNEY—Global producers of electric cars have big ambitions and a bigger problem: Supplies of a key material are running short.
Nickel sulfate is a brilliantly colored crystalline substance used in electric-vehicle batteries. The ore most commonly used to produce it is mined in only a handful of places—and they include some of the most politically or operationally challenging, such as Russia or Canada’s frozen Northeast.
Nickel sulfate accounts for just a fraction of global nickel sales; about 70% of nickel is used in stainless steel. But auto makers will launch more than 200 new plug-in electric vehicles through 2023, consulting firm AlixPartners estimates—and that isn’t counting hybrids. UBS expects batteries in electric vehicles to account for 12% of global nickel demand by then, up from 3% in 2018. Continue Reading →