What metals are used in electric car batteries?

Released on Apr. 18, 2022

What metals are used in electric car batteries?

The requirements or needs of electric vehicle manufacturers for all types of metals depend on the design and manufacturing methods used. For example, Tesla uses metals such as lithium, graphite, copper, nickel, aluminum, cobalt, titanium, and others in its model vehicles. On the other hand, companies such as Nissan use a certain amount of tungsten to make batteries used in electric vehicles. Other manufacturers can also add "rare earth metals" to battery manufacturing. Especially if each key reinforces the chassis. Below are the various metals used in EV batteries, and demand is expected to increase as EV adaptability increases.

lithium ion

Lithium is in high demand. Because it is an essential part of modern batteries. Especially batteries for electric vehicles. The high demand has also brought great excitement to the mining industry as an important material for automotive battery power supplies, requiring a lot of content to sustain the need for high energy density.

A typical electric car uses about 23 kilograms of lithium metal, while a standard hybrid car uses about 13 kilograms of the same metal. Tesla appears to hold the record for the most lithium-based processes in electric vehicle manufacturing, using more than 50 kilograms of lithium metal per vehicle. Note that if EV market penetration were to increase by only 1%, lithium demand could increase by 70,000 tonnes per year.

copper

On average, gasoline-powered cars use about 20 kilograms of copper in the manufacturing process, most of which is used for wiring. Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, use twice that amount (40 kilograms) of copper, while electric vehicles use around 80 kilograms of copper per vehicle. As EV productivity and demand for the metal increase, it is estimated that the demand for copper from EVs alone is 11,000,000 tonnes.

The overall copper market based on various applications is getting a staggering figure of around 36 million tonnes of metal per year, which indicates a very high level of demand for the production of low-grade copper ore.

graphite

Graphite is an indispensable element in the design and manufacture of electric vehicle batteries. Tesla's electric vehicles, particularly the Model S, each use about 55 kilograms of graphite, which is supplied from China. Demand may be high, but there is ample supply of this metal, even the waste minerals found in VMS base metal deposits. It is also found in several other geological areas that can attest to its abundance in the market. The only limitations facing metals are the low purity and quality of these various sources.

Due to the high purity levels, the preferred source for graphite mining is currently advocated for petroleum coke. The source is based on the extraction of synthetic graphite. However, there are positive signs that high-quality and high-purity hot water graphite can be mined, with production costs expected to exceed synthetic graphite. Based on the extraction of hydrothermal graphite, an important factor also reduces the environmental footprint. Electric vehicles alone could add 93,000 tons of graphite to the market each year, with production proportional to metal extraction. cobalt

Cobalt is another fundamental factor currently used in electric vehicle battery construction. Tesla's models, for example, use about 8 kilograms of cobalt each time they make a battery. Most of the world's metal is supplied from reserves in the Central African copper belt. However, since these reserves have been declared limited, they will be quickly depleted in a few years or decades as electric vehicles increase.

It is reported that as electric vehicles adapt, their demand will increase significantly year by year as we work to replace poor fanning power. Increased demand will lead to increased demand for cobalt, and unless a new stable supply comes into production, we must expect substations.

nickel

Tesla's battery anode is made up of 80 percent nickel, which is also included in other manufacturers' electric vehicle battery designs, but to a lesser extent. With only 10% of the world's cars going electric, the nickel market will expand by a massive 20%, from 2,000,000 tonnes to a staggering figure of about 2,500,000 tonnes per year.

aluminum

Aluminium is much lighter than iron, so electric vehicles can greatly extend their range. It is also considered a widely used global backbone and is the body of choice. High demand for electric vehicles is not expected to limit sources of aluminum. Because this metal is not rare, it is easy to obtain.

other metals

Titanium is known for its very hard mass, so it is used in the landing gear of electric vehicles, especially Tesla models, to protect battery packs from dangers such as damage.

Tungsten is also another metal used by some electric vehicle manufacturers such as Nissan. However, this metal is not rare, but its results have not lived up to expectations, so its industrial application is not large.

Comparison of Different Battery Types for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles can choose from a variety of battery technologies, so compare these different designs. These different batteries have expected lifespans, and in some cases, batteries need to be replaced during the journey of life. (David Asher).

calcium battery

Batteries contain calcium alloys on different filler plates. Calcium is there to reduce fluid outflow from cells. But the battery can be easily damaged if overcharged.

Cardiac circulation

Such batteries tend to supply power for extended periods of time. However, they need someone to charge their car over long distances.

Lithium Ion Battery

Although an expensive battery, it has a higher energy density than other batteries and is lighter in weight.

battery immersed in water

The low price of this battery makes it one of the most popular. No maintenance required, well sealed, no need to change the gas. The liquid lasts as long as the battery, so no refilling is required.


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