Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



The EV Battery Supply Chain & Pricing — Lithium, Nickel, & Cobalt Trends (Part 1)

In the first half of this CleanTech Talk podcast interview, CleanTechnica CEO Zach Shahan sits down with Caspar Rawles, Head of Price Assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, to discuss the battery supply chain.

In the first half of this CleanTech Talk podcast interview, CleanTechnica CEO Zach Shahan sits down with Caspar Rawles, Head of Price Assessments at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, to discuss the battery supply chain. You can listen to the full conversation in the embedded player below. Below that embedded SoundCloud player is a brief summarization of the topics covered, but tune into the podcast to follow the full discussion. [Editor’s note: I have no idea what happened to my mic/audio on this podcast. It was the same setup as I used for the green hydrogen podcast. But I will try to identify and avoid the issue in future podcasts. —Zach]

You can subscribe and listen to CleanTech Talk on: Anchor, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket, Podbean, Radio Public, SoundCloud, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Zach launches this episode by declaring this decade to be the decade of batteries (and autonomous vehicles) in the automotive industry. To start off the conversation, he then brings up last year’s Tesla Battery Day and asks Caspar for his overall thoughts on the announcements made there. Caspar believes the event was a huge moment for the industry, especially considering Tesla’s announcement that the company would make its own batteries and produce its own lithium. You can check out some of the company’s initial highlights here, and a more detailed analysis of Battery Day by Caspar and his coworkers here.

While Caspar is skeptical of Tesla being able to produce its own battery-grade lithium out of clay deposits at a competitive cost, Caspar is interested to see how they plan to tackle what he believes to be an extremely challenging endeavor.

Zach and Caspar open the conversation up to more broadly talk about the lithium industry’s future. With demand for lithium rising quickly, Caspar foresees increasing lithium prices and a tightening supply that could potentially turn into a deficit. He notes that long-term supply deals are already beginning to be locked up between automakers and lithium producers in China. Nearly every government is looking to push localized lithium supply, he says.

In terms of supply outlook, Caspar predicts a deficit in lithium supplies within the next 12–18 months. Without investment into the supply chain, he explains, it is unlikely supply will be able to keep up with where demand is heading. Zach and Caspar talk through some of the challenges for different companies and trends they see in terms of lithium supply contracts and price volatility. They wrap up this first half of the podcast beginning the transition into talking about nickel.

To hear more on these topics, listen to the show! And stay tuned for part two.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Sign up for our free daily newsletter to never miss a story.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New CleanTechnica Podcasts

Written By

Winter is a Cutler Scholar and undergraduate student double majoring in Environmental Studies and Journalism at Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College, with a minor in French. Her academic interests include environmental communication, technology and social innovation, especially as they relate to international climate change mitigation and adaptation. Though Winter attends school in her hometown of Athens, Ohio, she takes advantage of her breaks to explore the world beyond. She spent her most recent break undertaking self-driven research on climate change and environmental justice in Southeast Asia. This year, she will be completing her dual thesis and supplementary documentary series on climate change communication. Winter is excited to contribute to and work with the team at CleanTechnica as a Summer Editorial Intern.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


Dan Neil just did a write-up on the Volkswagens ID.4 for the Wall Street Journal. What is particularly interesting to me is that Dan...


Norway had a record February plugin electric vehicle market share of 79.1%, up from 68.1% in February 2020. The overall auto market was up...

Autonomous Vehicles

It’s the end of another month, and thus another opportunity to look back at the most popular CleanTechnica stories of the month — as...


Sweden saw plugin electric vehicle share grow to 34.8% in February 2021, up from 25% in February 2020. The overall auto market recovered in...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.