The Influence of Potential Raw Material Shortages on the Market Penetration of Alternative Drives
A Case Study for Lithium and Cobalt. Presentation held at WCTR 2013
The traffic sector, particularly road traffic, faces challenges both from rising oil prices and ongoing climate change discussions. The only way to escape the current cycle of fossil fuel combustion is to utilize alternative drive technologies and fuels which would make it possible to reach significant emission reduction. One solution could be the usage of battery electric vehicles (BEV), but their production requires large amounts of specific raw materials such as lithium and cobalt. Shortages in these materials will lead to higher prices, which in turn might influence the diffusion of BEVs in the future. As opposed to earlier studies on future automotive markets in which the availability of key raw materials for alternative drives was not taken into account, the model presented in this paper gives an example of how to simulate feedback effects from raw material markets on the diffusion of emerging technologies. For this purpose, taking cobalt and lithium as an example, the effect of increasing battery production on the demand for raw materials is analyzed. This is realized by simulating two scenarios with strong and weak market penetration of alternative drives and by determining the impact of these scenarios on the markets for lithium and cobalt.