Frontiers in Energy Research (Nov 2020)

Tackling xEV Battery Chemistry in View of Raw Material Supply Shortfalls

  • Duygu Karabelli,
  • Steffen Kiemel,
  • Soumya Singh,
  • Jan Koller,
  • Simone Ehrenberger,
  • Robert Miehe,
  • Max Weeber,
  • Kai Peter Birke,
  • Kai Peter Birke

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8


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The growing number of Electric Vehicles poses a serious challenge at the end-of-life for battery manufacturers and recyclers. Manufacturers need access to strategic or critical materials for the production of a battery system. Recycling of end-of-life electric vehicle batteries may ensure a constant supply of critical materials, thereby closing the material cycle in the context of a circular economy. However, the resource-use per cell and thus its chemistry is constantly changing, due to supply disruption or sharply rising costs of certain raw materials along with higher performance expectations from electric vehicle-batteries. It is vital to further explore the nickel-rich cathodes, as they promise to overcome the resource and cost problems. With this study, we aim to analyze the expected development of dominant cell chemistries of Lithium-Ion Batteries until 2030, followed by an analysis of the raw materials availability. This is accomplished with the help of research studies and additional experts’ survey which defines the scenarios to estimate the battery chemistry evolution and the effect it has on a circular economy. In our results, we will discuss the annual demand for global e-mobility by 2030 and the impact of Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt based cathode chemistries on a sustainable economy. Estimations beyond 2030 are subject to high uncertainty due to the potential market penetration of innovative technologies that are currently under research (e.g. solid-state Lithium-Ion and/or sodium-based batteries).