The latest APC Quarterly Demand Forecast has raised questions over the future supply of lithium to produce batteries for BEVs, with its figures ‘reinforcing’ prior indications that only 60% of expected demand in 2030 would be met if only the most likely lithium projects are operational by the end of the decade.

APC has suggested that shifting some BEV production to FCEVs and hydrogen range extender vehicles is a pathway that could be explored to ensure automotive lithium demand remains sustainable.

With hydrogen fuel cell technology providing a key solution to decarbonising larger vehicles, a recent APC report highlighted the need for investment in scaling up the manufacture of hydrogen fuel cell systems to align with future battery costs.

Julian Hetherington, Automotive Transformation Director at the APC, said,  “Globally, investment is still needed if hydrogen fuel cell systems are to be implemented at scale.

“A gigafactory is currently being built in the UK to manufacture membrane electrode assemblies and we have key automotive manufacturers here in the UK that could attract further investments across the supply chain.

“To maximise the potential impact of fuel cells and other Net Zero propulsion solutions, recharging and refuelling infrastructures need significant investment.”

In June (2022), Rethink Energy’s Heavy duty transport transition will rely more on hydrogen than batteries report predicted that hydrogen capacity is set to overtake battery-electric vehicles in the heavy-duty transport sector.

Read more: Report predicts hydrogen will take a lead in future heavy-duty transportation

The APC suggested that manufacturing BEVs with smaller batteries and substituting lithium with sodium-ion in smaller vehicles were other pathways that could improve the sustainability of automotive lithium supply.


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