INTL NICKEL CONF: High nickel price could drive substitution in EV batteries - Hoffman

Nickel is likely to remain the material of choice in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, but automobile manufacturers could be forced to consider alternatives if prices rise too high, according to an industry expert.

“The auto industry won’t sit there and take high prices,” Ken Hoffman, senior expert at McKinsey & Co's basic materials practice, told attendees at Metal Bulletin’s sixth International Nickel Conference in Toronto on Thursday May 31. “The interesting part is, how high will nickel prices go before auto companies will thrift out nickel?”
While “auto companies are married to lithium-ion batteries” for the next five to 10 years, given the time it takes this industry to adapt to market changes, “2030 and beyond is the interesting time” when companies might invest in new developments, Hoffman said. And EV battery producers have been working to increase the amount of nickel used and cut cobalt content in an effort to slash costs, he said.

“The best way to reduce costs and secure supplies is nickel,” according...

Published

Millicent Dent

June 01, 2018

18:02 GMT

Toronto