According to Wood Mackenzie, forecast global demand for nickel in battery precursors for electric vehicles and energy storage will increase 36% by 2022, to 434 kt.
Its forecasts also see this demand increasing to 750 kt by 2025.
According to Lifezone Metals, The transition to clean energy is supporting a growing demand for batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage, which is expected to lead to a significant increase in demand within the global feedstock and battery precursor supply chains servicing the market.
Wood Mackenzie forecasts that a subsequent compound annual growth of 9% per year will drive the expected global demand in this segment to 1.7 Mt by 2035 and 2.3 Mt by 2050.
Nickel provides high energy density for batteries and significant storage capacity, both of which are needed to expand electrification.
The response to the climate change crisis is accelerating demand for electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and related infrastructure.
In August 2021, the U.S. government announced a target of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030.
Then, in October 2021, several of the world’s leading countries and automakers committed at COP26 in Glasgow to sell 100% electric vehicles by 2035 in major markets and by 2040 worldwide.
To manufacture batteries and meet the growing demand for batteries, gigafactories will need essential metals such as nickel, cobalt and copper.
Nickel-manganese-cobalt battery chemistry is becoming the predominant technology in the electric vehicle market.
As higher quality nickel sulfide deposits in active mines are depleted, new nickel supply for batteries has begun to rely heavily on laterite ore processing using the HPAL and rotary kiln-electric furnace (RKEF) processes, which are environmentally complex (particularly the RKEF process), while HPAL in particular has a history of cost overruns and delays.