Major automakers Ford and Honda have stressed the importance of stable and affordable supply of battery raw materials for their ongoing electric vehicle development and roll-out plans.

Ford started to focus on lithium-ion battery technology in 2012 and has since reduced the cobalt input in its battery supply chain by around two thirds because of the metal’s high cost and supply uncertainty, Ted Miller, the company’s senior manager of energy storage strategy and research, said.

“We are increasingly substituting nickel and manganese for cobalt, but this means we will be watchful of the consumption of these metals,” he said. South Korea’s LG Chem produces battery cell technology for Ford’s electric vehicle programme. Ford’s objective is to reduce cobalt in its nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries to 10pc or lower.

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