2018 PREVIEW: High zinc prices could ultimately lead to irreversible substitution in alloys sector

High zinc prices could eventually lead to an irreversible dent in consumption of the metal, specifically in the form of zinc alloys in electric vehicles, market participants told Metal Bulletin.

Substitution out of zinc is likeliest in the alloys sector, a zinc producer told Metal Bulletin, estimating that up to 3-5% of usage of metal at current levels could be at risk - albeit over a matter of years rather than in the immediate term.
Zinc alloys are ideally suited for use in complex car parts such as camera, radar and connector housings. These parts can be produced quickly and consistently using zinc but are heavier than their aluminium-based counterparts.
A growing number of electric vehicle (EV) makers are experimenting with increased loadings of aluminium alloys due to their lighter weight and fuel-saving properties, an official at a second zinc producer said. 

The EV market is booming. China, the world’s largest EV market - it accounted for roughly half the 753,000 plug- in EVs sold in 2016 - aims to have at least...

Published

Julian Luk

January 09, 2018

17:07 GMT

London