The majority of the world’s nickel is used in the stainless steel industry, however that balance is expected to shift rapidly in the coming decades. Looking forward 10 to 15 years, the battery sector is expected to provide more than 50% of the demand for nickel units.2
Currently, the U.S. sources much of its battery-grade nickel from Canada, Norway, Australia and Finland. But production capacity is not growing at nearly the same rate as demand forecasts. Amidst the surge in nickel prices, Tesla has already raised the price of its Model 3 and Model Y. Many in the EV industry see developing new nickel sulfide mines domestically and in allied countries like Canada as a key goal.3
In 2021, Tesla outlined plans to produce EV batteries that contain no cobalt and more nickel in order to increase energy density and lower production costs.4
Producers’ efforts to reduce the cost of EV batteries have underpinned the move toward batteries with more nickel and less cobalt, offering real evidence of the place nickel has as a strategic battery metal going forward.