How much cobalt is in an electric car?

I want to buy a new electric car, but I’ve heard about some questionable sourcing practices involving cobalt in the Congo, etc. Are electric cars still using cobalt? How much cobalt would you say is in an electric car?

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Answer provided by
Tara Malenfa
Answered on Apr 28, 2022
You’ve heard correctly. Unfortunately, there have been many negative consequences due to unethical mineral mining practices used to source materials for day-to-day technology.
Cobalt is the byproduct of metal production and is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Australia. Here’s what we know about the current amount of cobalt in an electric car:
  • Cobalt has been a key component in lithium-ion batteries, but automakers are now transitioning away from it due to its devastating effects on children and the environment, particularly in the Congo.
  • The portable electronics industry (phones, tablets, computers) **uses much more cobalt **than the auto industry. On average, an EV needs between 6kg and 12kg of cobalt, which translates to about 120,000 tonnes a year.
  • Tesla helped pave the way for stricter supply chain labor and less reliance on cobalt for EV battery production. The company’s batteries contain** less than 5% of cobalt,** and they’re currently developing their own batteries that will be cobalt-free.
  • Other methods include_ lithium-iron-phosphate_ or nickel-iron-aluminum cathodes. Because EVs don’t actually need cobalt in order to work properly.
GM is also working on a new technology system to use 70% less cobalt than they do currently.
Now that you know the EV industry is doing its part to quickly** eliminate the use of unethical practices**, you can feel good about purchasing a new car. And when you’re driving your sweet new ride, make sure you’ve got the best coverage that won’t put a big dent in your wallet.
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