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UK scientists warn raw material output must surge to match EV growth

by Sam Morgan, June 7, 2019 in Euractiv


In a letter to the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on Wednesday (5 June), a team of scientists suggests that the CCC’s proposed target of net-zero emissions by 2050 will need almost all cars and vans on British roads to be electric-battery powered.

The team, which supports that goal, outlined the raw material needs and challenges that will come hand-in-hand with such an ambitious target. Current battery production requires materials like cobalt, copper and nickel.

Professor Richard Herrington of the Natural History Museum said in a statement that “there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged”.

He and his colleagues calculated that switching all of the UK’s light vehicles to electric will require 207,900 tonnes of cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate and over 2,300,000 tonnes of copper.