Powering the Electric Vehicle Revolution
Graphite is a critical component used in the production of electric vehicles, an ever-expanding market, with strong forecasted growth for both the imminent and long-term future. It is estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that electric vehicles (EV’s) will account for 28% of global new car sales by the year 2030, with that number surging to 55% by 2040. Industry giant China is offering massive government subsidies on electric vehicles, in an attempt to reduce on carbon emissions, as a means of curbing the damage caused by climate change. Similarly, electric buses are expected to dominate their market even more decisively, reaching an 84% global share by 2030.
Graphite is a critical commodity for the manufacture of EVs, used in the anodes of Lithium batteries. Although a lesser-known component in lithium-ion batteries, it is estimated, that by quantity 1000% – 2000% more graphite is used than Lithium, with Lithium only making up approximately 2% of the finished battery. In these increasingly popular batteries, graphite forms the negative electrode, known as an anode. Lithium ions are sent from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte buffer separating them. Once the process is reversed, the result is an electric current that powers vehicles like the Tesla Model S. The advantages of using natural flake graphite as an electrode are its abundance and the material’s lengthy cycle life.