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Nickel Is New Headache for Automakers as Cobalt Fears Abate

  • Graphite also failing to keep up with electric boom: Benchmark
  • Nickel looks set to double by 2022 amid shortage: WoodMac
A truck carries nickel ore out of a open-cut nickel mine.
Photographer: Ron D'Raine/Bloomberg

Locking in supplies of key battery raw materials lithium and cobalt has been a headache for electric car manufacturers, but these days it’s the supply of nickel and graphite that’s keeping them up at night.

Carmakers bracing for a surge in electric vehicle sales in the early 2020s are increasingly worried about where they’ll get enough nickel and graphite to go into batteries, according to Simon Moores, managing director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Concern about lithium and cobalt has eased as miners ramp up production at new projects.