Cobalt is considered a problematic component of e-car batteries. The demand for the rare substance has risen sharply recently.
Cobalt demand from e-automakers more than doubled in the first half of 2019. 6.100 tons of the vehicle battery material have been used worldwide, according to the Cobalt report of the information service provider "Adamas Intelligence". Compared to the same period of the previous year, this represents a doubling (plus 107%). Add to that the demand for cobalt for hybrid cars, and worldwide demand for 81 tons of 7.200 tons has increased. The largest consumer was the Korean company LG Chem with more than 1.400 tons, followed by CATL, Panasonic, BYD and Samsung. The Asian companies produce cells and whole batteries, which they deliver to the automakers.
Cobalt is controversial as the transitional metal is sometimes taken from mines under inhumane conditions. Most of the world's mine production comes from the Congo, followed by Russia and Cuba by a wide margin. The automakers are currently researching ways to significantly reduce the cobalt content in the batteries of their vehicles. The rising consumption of cobalt is likely to be connected not least with the fast-growing e-car production.