Multidimensional Criticality Assessment of Metal Requirements for Lithium-ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles and Stationary Storage Applications in Germany by 2050
Electric vehicles and electricity storage systems are major pillars in the German energy transition process towards a renewable energy system. Although both technologies are commonly found in future energy system scenarios, the aspect of resource availability as well as their extended implication on the environment and national economy for battery systems remains uncertain. Therefore, this paper assesses the total cumulated metal demand for Lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) in Germany by 2050, based on two distinct battery market scenarios. A multidimensional criticality assessment was conducted to evaluate possible risk implications for Germany concerning the security of supply, the economic vulnerability and environmental impacts. Herein, the perspective of a fair distribution of global resources, determined by the German share of the global population, was applied. We find that supply bottlenecks are to be expected especially for lithium, nickel, and cobalt, as the German demand exceeds its dedicated resource budget. Depending on the market development scenarios, the resource budget of most of the metals for the use in LiBs will be depleted between 2025 and 2030. The vulnerability of the German economy to supply restrictions of related metals is high mainly due to the lack of substitutes, high import reliance as well as a considerable contribution to the national GDP. The evaluation of several mitigation strategies showed that it is possible to significantly reduce the severity of the risks. Effective support schemes and regulations are required to ensure that efficiency measures such as development of novel battery concepts, improved material efficiency in production as well as establishment of effective recycling processes must be implemented without delay.