The big rush for battery metals

Will constrained supplies of metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel become the bottleneck hindering EV adoption?

The metals used to make batteries are in high demand. In 2021, the price of one form of lithium skyrocketed by over 400%. Automakers are racing to lock up supply deals for key minerals as they roll out new electric-vehicle models. And the market value of companies with mining assets or new technologies to unlock them has grown exponentially.

What’s behind this scramble for metals and minerals, and what does it mean for the energy transition? 

In this episode, Shayle talks to Kurt House, chief executive officer and co-founder of KoBold Metals. KoBold uses artificial intelligence to discover and characterize new sources of key battery metals. 

Kurt and Shayle survey five key materials at the core of the energy transition: lithium, nickel, copper, cobalt and rare earth metals. They compare the roles of each one in different types of batteries and discuss how changing battery-cell chemistries are shaping metal markets. Kurt explains the different factors impacting supply, including recycling, new mineral discoveries and shifting geopolitics.

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