News
17 May 2022

Electric Vehicles Become the Major Driving Force for Cobalt Demand Growth in 2021

17 May 2022, Zurich. The Cobalt Institute’s Cobalt Market Report, published today, confirmed the role of cobalt as one the key commodities of the green future, thanks to the rapid growth of the lithium-ion battery market and a strong global uptake of electric vehicles.

David Brocas, Head Cobalt Trader at Glencore and Chairman of the Cobalt Institute’s Executive Committee, said: “Securing access to raw materials is crucial if the world is to achieve the sustainable and just transition to a greener future. Cobalt’s role in batteries and recycling makes it one of the critical materials of a climate-neutral future”.

In 2021, the cobalt market showed unprecedented demand growth of 22%. This upward trend is expected to continue, rising by about 13% per year for the next five years.

For the very first time in 2021, cobalt demand from electric vehicles overtook other battery applications to become the largest end use sector at 34% of demand. It is expected to account for half of the cobalt demand by 2026.

Adam McCarthy, President of the Cobalt Institute, added: “As electric vehicles continue to revolutionise green and sustainable mobility, cobalt-containing batteries are a technology of choice for many car manufacturers in Europe, North America and China.”

In 2021, cobalt-containing battery chemistries accounted for three quarters (74%) of the global electric vehicles battery market – this is largely due to their superior energy density, safety and performance ensured by cobalt.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo remained the largest source of cobalt supply, accounting for 74% of the global mine supply. China remained the largest refiner of cobalt globally (72% of total primary production). Indonesia is the largest growth market for refined cobalt production after China, and is expected to provide a quarter of total refined cobalt growth in the medium term.

The Cobalt Institute’ commissioned CRU – the leading business intelligence and market analysis agency – to look at the global trends in cobalt consumption, supply and production in 2021. The Cobalt Market Report is the most comprehensive market overview to date and gives unique insights on the cobalt market.

Media contact: Marina Demidova, mdemidova@cobaltinstitute.org, +32 485 322 313

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