Material considerations for a transition to electric vehicles



In Shell’s recently released Sky Scenario, around 1 billion electric passenger vehicles (EVs) could be on the roads as early as the 2040s. These 1 billion vehicles will each need a battery and while there are different battery chemistries available, it is likely that these batteries will need to include the vital element cobalt, a material that confers upon the battery good cycle ability and power output.

The new Tesla Model S has a Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium Lithium Ion battery which contains just under 5 kg of cobalt, the lowest cobalt content of the various batteries that Tesla use.

While cobalt use per battery has fallen, with one manufacturer releasing information on the possible development of a cobalt free battery, some industry insiders believe that the Tesla Model 3 use of 10% cobalt in the battery cathode (8:1:1 nickel:cobalt:manganese) is the minimum required for safety and battery longevity reasons.

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