Scientists: Hundreds of Gigafactories needed for electromobility

January 24, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Scientists: Hundreds of Gigafactories needed for electromobility
To reach the goal of electrifying road traffic as far as possible, batteries are needed. Very many batteries. Scientists have calculated that 220 “gigafactories” are needed worldwide to cover the demand. In other words, a multiple of what is available today. But there is also good news.

On the basis of the latest mobility scenarios and current developments in battery types and capacities, scientists at the Öko-Institut, a renowned non-profit research institute in Freiburg (Germany), have calculated the raw material requirements for key materials for lithium-ion cells up to 2050. If the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement are to be implemented in the mobility sector, the demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel will increase considerably. Demand will continue to grow until 2050 if lithium-ion cells remain the energy storage technology of choice for electric vehicles in the long term, predicts Dr. Matthias Buchert, an expert on sustainable raw materials at the Öko-Institut.

The good news: In view of the known global reserves for lithium of 16 million tonnes, cobalt (7.1 million tonnes) and nickel (74 million tonnes), a shortage of these raw materials is not to be expected, says Buchert. Nevertheless, caution is advisable: "Electric mobility is developing so dynamically that there may be temporary shortages of individual raw materials," Buchert says.

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