Major automotive battery makers and car manufacturers are planning to alter battery chemistry to lower the cost of new electric vehicles (EVs) being rolled out this year, mining and materials forecaster Afriforesight says.
The race to cost cuts intensified last week with the largest Chinese EV producer BYD announcing plans to use cobalt- and nickel-free lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, with comparable driving range to nickel-rich batteries, in its EVs from the middle of this year.
Vehicle manufacturer General Motors also announced that its next-generation nickel/manganese/cobalt/aluminium battery will contain 70% less cobalt than current batteries.
This follows a similar move by US company Tesla, which plans to collaborate with Chinese battery maker, CATL, to use lithium-iron-phosphate batteries for its Chinese market.
Afriforesight expects these developments to start impacting on and shifting demand for the different battery metals in the coming months, particularly for cobalt and nickel.