Electrifying society requires critical mineralsElectric vehicles need renewable energy that does not come without minerals. Photo: Halfdan Carstens

Electrifying society requires critical minerals

Reaching temperatur targets set by world leaders require enormous amounts of metals. The deep sea may be the next exploration frontier.

According to information given by mineralsindepth.org, an electric vehicle with a 75KWh battery needs 56 kg of nickel, 12 kg of manganese, 7 kg of cobalt and 85 kg of copper for electric wiring.

This is substantially more than what is needed to make a conventional car.

More EVs means more minerals

The number of electric cars is currently increasing exponentially, jumping from 1.2 million in 2016 to 6.8 in 2020 (statista.com),  and Bloomberg Markets recently stated that at least two-thirds of global car sales will be electric by 2040. “Passenger EV sales are projected to increase sharply, rising from 3 million in 2020 to 66 million in 2040”. This should be no surprise as electric vehicles introduced in 2020 could travel 359 kilometers (on average) before needing a “refill”. This is up from 166km in 2012.

It is no wonder that the world will see a surge in demand for critical metals.

The World Bank lists aluminium, cobalt, copper, iron ore, lead, lithium, nickel, manganese, platinum, rare earth metals, silver, steel, titanium and zinc as critical for green technology the, while the Institute for Sustainable Futures calculates that in a scenario where global temperature rise is limited to less than 1.5 degrees, demand for cobalt will be 423% of known reserves by 2050.

Addressing challenges and opportunities

While WWF has called for a global moratorium on all deep seabed mining activities, signed by (among others) BMW and Volvo, others claim there is a need to use deep sea resources to meet future demand. Land-based acitivites and recycling will not .

In the soon to come conference NCS Exploration – Deep Sea Minerals these challenges will be discussed by world renown experts, such as Karen Hanghøy, Director at the British Geological Survey, Frances Wall, Professor at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, and Tom Einar Jensen, CEO at FREYR.

Environmental concerns will also be discussed in a special session devoted to this subject. Fredrik Myhre, Marine Biologist and Senior Advisor at WWF-Norway, is one of the presenters.


Adopted from mineralsindepth.org

NCS -Exploration Deep Sea Minerals – programme