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The impact of climate policy implementation on lithium, cobalt and nickel demand: The case of the Dutch automotive sector up to 2040

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  • Tang, Chen
  • Sprecher, Benjamin
  • Tukker, Arnold
  • Mogollón, José M.

Abstract

The Dutch national climate agreement (‘Klimaatakkoord’), stipulates a 49% decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, relative to the 1990 level. To accommodate this target, the passenger vehicles sector must reduce its GHG emissions by 30% in 2030, which likely will come about by replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with electric vehicles. In this study, a dynamic material flow model combined was applied to investigate the future demand for (and metabolism of) lithium, cobalt, and nickel within various scenarios of Dutch electric vehicle markets stemming from climate policy implementation. Our results show that by 2040 the demand for electric vehicles rapidly grows by an order of magnitude, which expands by two orders of magnitude the annual accumulation of these metals in the Netherlands when compared to the 2019 levels. Lithium and nickel demand will keep increasing through 2040, while the demand trend of cobalt will start to drop after 2030, due to changes in battery technology. Increasing the EV driving range and replacing EV batteries during an EV lifetime will increase the demand for these metals by 10%–19%. Conversely, extending the average battery lifetime to meet the vehicle lifetime could reduce the demand of these metals by 30%. Due to the low open-loop recycling of these metals, policies must seek to minimize their presence in the electric mobility sector, while also stimulating better recycling practices and infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Chen & Sprecher, Benjamin & Tukker, Arnold & Mogollón, José M., 2021. "The impact of climate policy implementation on lithium, cobalt and nickel demand: The case of the Dutch automotive sector up to 2040," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:74:y:2021:i:c:s0301420721003603
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Huang, Jianbai & Dong, Xuesong & Chen, Jinyu & Zeng, Anqi, 2023. "The slow-release effect of recycling on rapid demand growth of critical metals from EV batteries up to 2050: Evidence from China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    3. Seck, Gondia Sokhna & Hache, Emmanuel & Barnet, Charlène, 2022. "Potential bottleneck in the energy transition: The case of cobalt in an accelerating electro-mobility world," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    4. Liu, Meng & Li, Huajiao & Zhou, Jinsheng & Feng, Sida & Wang, Yanli & Wang, Xingxing, 2022. "Analysis of material flow among multiple phases of cobalt industrial chain based on a complex network," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    5. Agnese, Pablo & Rios, Francisco, 2023. "Spillover Effects of Energy Transition Metals in Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 15999, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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