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EV Sales Poised for Takeoff

Sales of electric vehicles doubled worldwide in 2021—and they appear to only be growing, according to the International Energy Agency and reported by POLITICO Pro Energywire (subscription).
What’s happening: “IEA’s annual report on the outlook for electric vehicles, released [Monday], notes that electric vehicle sales remain strong in 2022, but it warns that supply chain constraints on lithium and other critical minerals could threaten the sector’s growth.”
The numbers: In the past two years, EV and battery-stock indexes have started to outperform an index of the top 10 automobile makers, the report said.

  • Europe and China accounted for more than 85% of international EV sales in 2021, according to the report.
  • In the U.S., where they saw two years of decline, EV sales more than doubled in 2021, to 630,000.

However… Price spikes in battery metals due to supply chain issues, growing demand and mineral scarcity could jeopardize a trend of declining costs for clean energy technology, the report said.

  • “The price of lithium has increased by 2½ times since the beginning of 2022, according to that analysis. The prices of other metals, such as nickel, have also gone up, partly driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

What can be done: The IEA report called on governments to “‘leverage private investment in sustainable mining of key battery metals and ensure clear and rapid permitting procedures to avoid potential supply bottlenecks’” and build more EV-charging infrastructure. 

The NAM has long advocated for smart U.S. policies that increase production of rare minerals.

  • NAM Vice President of Energy & Resources Policy Rachel Jones recently urged the Senate to “secure diverse production of critical minerals, through policies increasing federal investment for processing and distribution; facilitating domestic resource extraction; and exploring new recycling and recovery.” 
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