22 Mar 2022, 12:13
Jessica Bateman

Nickel shortage caused by Ukraine war could endanger e-mobility transition


German carmakers are warning a nickel shortage caused by the war in Ukraine could endanger the transition to electric mobility, Handelsblatt reports. Many manufacturers source nickel, which is used in car battery production, from Russian mines, but sanctions against Moscow have made it much more difficult to import raw materials. In addition, the price of the metal has risen fivefold since the invasion began. BMW CEO Nicolas Peter told the business daily he expects “headwinds in the order of a mid-three-digit million-euro amount” while Mercedes finance chief Harald Wilhelm said his company needs to sell more cars to make up for the shortfall. Volkswagen announced it has formed two new ventures with Chinese partners to secure nickel supply and is also looking at sourcing more of the material from Indonesia.

The outbreak of war in Ukraine is shaking the foundation of Europe's energy and security architecture, as a decade-old reliance on Russian fossil fuel imports could come to an end. At the same time, Russia’s war against Ukraine also has consequences for other areas of the transformation to climate neutrality. Prices of other raw materials needed for the energy transition have also risen due to the conflict, such as cobalt, copper and lithium.

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