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Report | 2023

Measuring Gaps in Supply and Demand for EV Battery Materials in the United States

What decision makers need to know.

By Ashna Aggarwal, Will Atkinson, Monkgogi Buzwani, Lachlan Carey, Alessandra R. Carreon, Kyle Clark-Sutton,  Tansy Massey-Green, Marie McNamara, Sudeshna Mohanty
Download the report below

As demand for electric vehicles (EVs) grows, so too does demand for the batteries that power them. RMI estimates that by 2030, EVs will represent 56 percent of passenger vehicles in the United States. This surge in demand will require nearly 5 million tons of battery packs containing approximately 200,000 tons of lithium and 100,000 tons of cobalt, as well as many other materials that have not historically been produced in such large quantities.

Today’s EV battery (EVB) supply chain needs to scale quickly to meet this increasing demand. The lack of robust public data regarding supply and demand gaps in the EVB supply chain makes it difficult for policymakers, the private sector, and other EV value chain stakeholders to understand trade dependencies, assess compliance with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and direct policy and investment where it needs to go.

RMI’s paper, Measuring Gaps in Supply and Demand for EV Battery Materials in the United States, helps shed light on the state of today’s EVB supply chain and can inform investment and policy decisions; it can also clarify how much of the battery supply is expected to qualify for IRA incentives in the future by presenting a methodology for quantifying the gap between supply and demand of inputs and subcomponents along all major stages of the EVB supply chain.

The paper differs from previous efforts in that it assembles public data from disparate sources to present a full picture of supply and demand along the EVB supply chain that serves the United States market. The authors hope to encourage an ongoing dialogue to help improve public data infrastructure and give stakeholders the tools they need to make informed policy and investment decisions as they seek to develop a responsible, sustainable, and circular EVB supply chain.

While the results reflect supply gap assessments in the US EVB market, the underlying methodology is broadly applicable to assessing supply chains for other technologies and geographies.