May 26, 2022

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Electric car prices can rise even with higher fuel prices

Electric car prices can rise even with higher fuel prices

like the United States Gas prices have reached record levels In the wake of Russia’s invasion of UkraineIt seems that electric cars may not be a safe haven for those looking to save money. That’s because Russia plays a significant role in the production of nickel that ends up in the batteries used by many electric cars – a metal in prices Even faster than oil.

On February 25, nickel was traded on the London Metal Exchange at around $24,000 per ton, according to The Wall Street Journal. By March 8, it was trading at $80,000 (down from a peak of over $100,000), and the London Metal Exchange Trading suspended. There are several reasons for the huge price hike – because it is in 2022 financial scams implicated, but it is also impossible for the market to ignore the fact that an important producer of nickel is at war and facing a wave of international sanctions.

When it comes to nickel mining, Russia is not a big player. according to The Wall Street Journal, the country supplies up to 6 percent of the world’s nickel. (For context, that puts it third apart from Indonesia and the Philippines, according to the USGS data sheet (pdf). But Russia’s role in producing battery-grade nickel for electric vehicles is a different story – in Twitter thread analyzes the problem20 percent of that supply comes from one Russian company, the CEO of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

Of course, automakers are aware of the rarity of nickel. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Tweets in late February That EV plans to convert its standard mileage cars away from nickel-starved lithium-ion battery cells. Describing nickel as the company’s “biggest expansion concern,” he said Tesla will move to iron cathode technology, but it’s hard to say how long that process will take. It also does not help with desirable long-term models. according to Bloomberg And the ReutersEven before the invasion, nickel prices had already become a problem for electric car manufacturers.

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(Last week, musk Tweet too That the world needed to produce more oil and gas to make up for what it was getting from Russia.)

It’s not impossible to make batteries without nickel – Volkswagen and other automakers are too Research other battery technologies you don’t use or cobalt ( whose price was also on the rise), according to Reuters.

But, Like energy policybattery production and integration Big ship for automakers to get around – if it was Prices of nickel and other metals Stay, it will be a race to switch to other technologies before shock waves from price hikes and penalties make their way through the supply chain. If automakers don’t make the shift quickly, they can even put EVs on out of reach For most Americans, at a time when gas prices are making them look better than ever.