Australia and the UK have opportunities to build an integrated battery supply chain for the electric vehicle sector, industry participants said Nov. 24.
Such a chain could surpass China's current dominance in the supply of battery metals, which is considered problematic in terms of in terms of pricing, environmental, social and governance criteria, which are becoming increasingly important factors for car manufacturers and their customers.
However, government support in the form of funding, incentives and a broader education program will be essential to create alternative supply chains, agreed participants in a webinar titled "Closing the gap between mining companies and OEMs", hosted by the UK and Australian Critical Minerals Associations.
Governments need to understand that batteries are a strategic national asset and if we will not invest, and if governments do not support, China will take 100% of the market,” said Quentin Wilson, a British motoring journalist who aims to raise consumer awareness of the environmental and social significance of electric vehicles. "It's extremely capital intensive and governments need to help."
Wilson noted that China's critical minerals sector is 100% government funded.
Stephen Grocott, CEO of Queensland, Australia Pacific Metals, which has a carbon-negative nickel recycling project, has raised concerns about the high carbon content of nickel produced in Indonesia, recycled in China, and used in electric vehicles around the world "without regard to responsibility."