With an increasing demand for electrical car manufacturing, the demand for cobalt is also on the rise. Cobalt is a non-ferrous metal commonly used in mobile phones, laptops, and tablets – but is also an essential component in the configuration of electric car batteries.
The Future for Electric Car Manufacturing
The Bloomberg New Energy Outlook predicts that roughly 33% of vehicles will end up being electric by 2030 – which means auto manufacturers will likely be looking to increase their supply steadily in the coming years.
Electric cars have been dubbed the way of the future – a more sustainable method of transportation that do not emit the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change the same way that petrol or diesel vehicles do. This is largely due to the rechargeable batteries that they are powered by.
The Realities of Cobalt Extraction Supply Chains
Cobalt is naturally-occurring metal typically extracted via mining operations, and is a necessary component in the manufacturing of electric car batteries. Cobalt mining operations are often devastating to the surrounding environment and negatively impact nearby populations. About 70% of cobalt supply is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These mining operations are often more prone to conflict and human rights violations.
It is for this reason that electric car manufacturing companies do their due-diligence by ensuring that cobalt supply chains do not further perpetuate negative socio-environmental outcomes that are the direct result of poorly regulated cobalt mining operations. One way for businesses in the electric car manufacturing industry to effectively avoid contributing to these realities is to opt for cobalt recycling.
Cobalt Recycling: An Alternate Solution
Cobalt is an infinitely recyclable metal – meaning its structural integrity does not degrade through the recycling process. Scrap cobalt is what is known as a continuous resource – a resource that never runs out. Cobalt recycling supply chains can then become a reliable source for electric car manufacturers, and can represent a new chain of demand when it comes to cobalt supply.