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Niche metals will gain from electric vehicle adoption

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Subject

Outlook for commodities used in battery techology.

Significance

On July 10, Volvo announced its plans to phase out cars with solely internal-combustion engines by 2019. On July 11, France announced plans to ban petrol engines from 2040. The Paris Agreement targets will require power storage capacity to increase by more than an order of magnitude. The developments in renewable energy systems and electric vehicles (EVs) portend well for certain commodity inputs, particularly those that go into electric batteries, while signaling secular decline for fossil fuels.

Impacts

  • The Paris Agreement on climate change targets 100 million EVs by 2030, driving demand growth for battery metals.
  • Inputs such as cobalt are subject to significant political risks as nearly 60% comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Manufacturers will seek to secure supplies and speculators will increasingly step into niche markets.
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