EU lawmakers fear a battery materials ‘dependency’ in shift to EVs

EU lawmakers fear a battery materials ‘dependency’ in shift to EVs

EU lawmakers fear a battery materials ‘dependency’ in shift to EVs 1000 666 Batteries International

October 28, 2022: EU legislators say they fear a rapid shift to electric mobility will leave Europe too reliant on other countries for battery raw materials, amid concerns that supply chain disruption could drive up EV costs.

Fifty members of the European Parliament wrote to the European Commission — the EU’s executive body — on October 17, asking how the “geostrategic dependency” of the EU will be affected as a result of the switch away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

The MEPs want to know the impact that potential “bottleneck situations of raw materials” will have on future EV costs.

The lawmakers also referred to an April 2022 study by Belgian university KU Leuven.

The study showed that “without new investments into domestic mines and refineries at high European standards, Europe is and will remain almost completely dependent on imports of the urgently needed raw materials lithium, nickel, cobalt and the rare earth metals dysprosium, neodymium and praseodymium until a recycling industry is set up,” the letter said.

MEPs are asking the European Commission for “a detailed analysis of the availability of raw materials and the resulting geostrategic dependencies” of all EU member states — and how reliance on countries outside the bloc can be reduced.

On June 13, Wood Mackenzie research analyst Max Reid told the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz that more mining of raw materials was needed to supply lithium ion battery manufacturers because “recycling alone cannot meet demand”.

Reid said recycling could relieve some pressure from the supply deficit of battery raw materials, but “with rapid expansion in the battery supply chain, we have created a situation of high waste”.

According to a Wood Mackenzie study published in July, European investment in energy storage systems has stalled — and the region is lagging behind the US and China in terms of market growth in the sector.

The company’s Global Energy Storage Outlook said cumulative storage deployments worldwide are expected to reach 500GW by 2031.

But the study said Europe demand was lagging behind as the region’s grid-scale market “struggles to stabilize”, with only 159GWh forecast for the region by 2031, compared to 422GWh for China and 600GWh for the US.