Carnegie Mellon University

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Electric vehicle battery chemistry affects supply chain disruption vulnerabilities

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Anthony L. Cheng, Erica R. H. Fuchs, Valerie J. Karplus, Jeremy J. Michalek

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Carnegie Mellon University

We examine the relationship between electric vehicle battery chemistry and supply chain disruption vulnerability for four critical minerals: lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese. We compare the nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode chemistries by (1) mapping the supply chains for these four materials, (2) calculating a vulnerability index for each cathode chemistry for various focal countries and (3) using network flow optimization to bound uncertainties. World supply is currently vulnerable to disruptions in China for both chemistries: 80% [71% to 100%] of NMC cathodes and 92% [90% to 93%] of LFP cathodes include minerals that pass through China. NMC has additional risks due to concentrations of nickel, cobalt, and manganese in other countries. The combined vulnerability of multiple supply chain stages is substantially larger than at individual steps alone. Our results suggest that reducing risk requires addressing vulnerabilities across the entire battery supply chain.

Read more at Nature Communications