The shortage will result from increased demand, expected to rise by 2024 to 3.4 million tonnes (compared to 2.5 million tonnes in 2020), whereas production stands at 3.2 million tonnes (against 2.3 million tonnes in 2020).
In 2020, less than 10 % of global demand for nickel was destined for electrical vehicles, Rystad Energy said. A full 70 % of demand was directed to production of stainless steel – whose world-wide consumption is set to rise annually by an average 5 % in the next few years.
Demand for nickel in production of electric vehicles is to rise four-fold from 0.25 million tonnes to more than 1 million tonnes by 2030, the report said. And the share occupied by batteries in global nickel supplies will rise from 9 % at present to 31 % in 2026.
Even today, producers of batteries have been obliged to seek alternatives to nickel. And that includes lithium iron phosphate batteries – Ford, Volkswagen and Tesla have all expressed an interest in them.
“Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production. That’s why we are shifting standard range cars to an iron cathode. Plenty of iron (and lithium)!” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted in February.
In the period from 2017 to 2020, world-wide sales of electric vehicles run on batteries rose three and a half times (from 1.93 million to 6.85 million units) and sales of rechargeable hybrids – nearly tripled (from 1.21 million to 3.35 million units), the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
In the European Union, the combined share of these two types of electric vehicles in new car sales over the same period rose from 1.4 % to 10.5 %, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
In Russia, according to the recently adopted conceptions of development of electric transport, by 2030 the share of electric vehicles among sales of new passenger cars will total 15 %. From 2020 to 2030, annual sales of electric passenger cars will grow from 700 to 201,000, analysts PwC forecast. For that entire period, the total fleet of electric vehicles will rise from 11,000 to 630,000 and the number of electric recharging stations will rise from 500 to 63,000 units.