• 2 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 5 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 8 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 4 hours California and Oil
  • 14 mins Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Completely Destroy their Economy. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 3 hours The Plastics Problem
  • 7 hours The Inconvenient Truth Of Electric Cars
  • 44 mins Ireland To Ban New Petrol And Diesel Vehicles From 2030
  • 7 hours Win Against Tyranny: Turkey's Opposition Strikes Blow To Erdogan With Istanbul Mayoral Win
  • 6 hours Green vs. Coal: Bavaria Seeks Fast-Track German Coal Exit in Snub to Merkel Plan
  • 58 mins Hydrogen FTW... Some Day
  • 29 mins NATO Article 5: Attack on one member is attack on all. Members all must come to defense . . . NOT facilitate financial transactions to circumvent and foil US Sanctions. Somebody please tell Angela.
  • 16 hours Solar Panels at 26 cents per watt
  • 18 hours What's more Important Iran Nuke Deal or Strong China Trade Deal. Hypothetically, If China offered Trump North Korean and Iran deals in exchange for concessions on trade deal should he take it ?
  • 8 hours Here We Go: New York Lawmakers Pass Aggressive Law To Fight Climate Change
  • 21 hours Summit in Pyongyang: China's Xi Says World Hopes North Korea-U.S. Talks Can Succeed
  • 11 hours Fareed Zakaria: Canary in the Coal Mine (U.S. Dollar Hegemony)
MINING.com

MINING.com

MINING.com is a web-based global mining publication focusing on news and commentary about mining and mineral exploration. The site is a one-stop-shop for mining industry…

More Info

Trending Discussions

EV Producers Search For Cobalt Alternatives As Prices Rise

Cobalt, a crucial element in batteries for cellphones and electric vehicles, has been drifting lower since hitting near 10-year peaks on the LME in March, but is still up nearly fourfold from its 2016 trough.

Mindful of the fact that the volatile commodity reached $115,000 a tonne a decade ago, long before EV demand was included in price projections, battery makers have been working hard to find a substitute for cobalt, or at least reduce the required loading to as little as possible.

To reduce cobalt to such a minor role – the major element involved in stabilising the battery – brings with it huge risk, especially in the first wave of pure EV models to hit the road when safety scrutiny is at its highest.

Lithium-ion batteries using nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathodes favoured by most vehicle makers contain around a third cobalt with a chemical composition of 111 – 1 part nickel, 1 part cobalt and 1 part manganese.

Battery manufacturers (with ample pressure from the auto industry) are hard at work to get the mix to 811 or better. NCM batteries with 523 (20 percent cobalt) chemistries are being mass-produced and Tesla claims its nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) technology has cobalt content equivalent to 811.

Related: Was This Just A Temporary Pullback In Oil?

In a trenchant new note Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a provider of price information and research on battery supply chains, warns that the impact of 811 “is going to be minimal in the short term”.

The London-HQ firm forecasts 811 will not exceed 5 percent of total NCM cathode production until after 2020 and reducing the cobalt would not necessarily lower cost:

Current technology dictates that 811 cathodes need to be produced in an inert environment as to prevent any reaction with the atmosphere. Therefore, any new cathode plant producing this material will need to build a new, dedicated, inert atmosphere, production line specific to 811.

Benchmark calculates that even with the most ambitious roll-out of 811 battery technology – 40 percent market share by 2026 – output of battery grade cobalt would have to more than triple from last year’s production of 50,000 tonnes (out of total cobalt production of just over 100,000 tonnes).

(Click to enlarge)

Benchmark points out that there are other risks associated with cobalt thrifting which has the potential to have a huge impact on wider adoption of EVs:

To reduce cobalt to such a minor role – the major element involved in stabilising the battery – brings with it huge risk, especially in the first wave of pure EV models to hit the road when safety scrutiny is at its highest.

By Mining.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • john tucker on June 10 2018 said:
    The article is vague about the risks ... the simplest way to visualize it is to realize that a fully charged EV battery contains the equivalent potential energy of a full tank of gasoline ... remember that even smart phone batteries sometimes ignite spontaneously ... researches have known for a long time that decreasing the amount of cobalt in the cathode increases the risk of fires ... when a Tesla catches fire, the battery and electronics stop functioning and the driver and passengers are trapped inside ... and the only way to extinguish the fire is with copper powder, not a normal thing for fire engines to carry with them ....not a nice way to go ....

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News