Role of cobalt and rare earth supply chain interactions for EV growth  

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CMI researchers at Idaho National Laboratory conducted the research for this highlight

Achievement
Roles and interactions of cobalt (Co) and rare earth (RE) supply chains have been modeled for conventional and new energy technology applications under resource constraints.  

Significance and impact
Demand is projected to increase for electric vehicles (EVs), their components, and raw materials. Under current understanding of raw material resources, production of the projected volume of EVs could be inadequate. Bottlenecks for Co and RE have been identified and scenarios have been tested to achieve aggressive EV goals. 

Details and next steps

  • La-Nd magnets have limited impacts on EV growth 
  • Cobalt is a key constraint to EV deployment.
  • A reduced reliance on rare earth permanent magnet traction motors would boost EV growth.
Line graph shows annual EV sales comparing the “Business as Usual” scenario (BAU) and the “La-Nd Deployment” scenario (LaD) under the assumption of a sintered N35AH magnet being used in EVs
Annual EV sales comparing the “Business as Usual” scenario (BAU) and the “La-Nd Deployment” scenario (LaD) under the assumption of a sintered N35AH magnet being used in EVs