Digital Library on Green Mobility


The Impact of Climate Policy Implementation on Lithium, Cobalt and Nickel Demand: The Case of the Dutch Automotive Sector Up to 2040

Publication Year: 2021

Author(s): Tang C, Sprecher B, Tukker A, Mogollón JM


This study aims to assess the dynamics of lithium (Li), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni) in the Dutch EV sector that accommodates the Dutch national climate agreement  (‘Klimaatakkoord’), which stipulates a 49% decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, relative to the 1990 level. 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. The results show that by 2040 the demand for electric vehicles rapidly grows by 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 for cobalt will 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 life to meet the vehicle lifetime could reduce the demand for 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. 

Source of Publication: Resources Policy

Vol/Issue: 74, 102351: 1-7p.

DOI No.: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102351

Country: Netherlands

Publisher/Organisation: Elsevier Ltd.

Rights: CC BY license (


Theme: Sustainable transportation | Subtheme: Environment Impact

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