I am not sure that nickel has got the attention it deserves - Andy Whitmore
image by: Jerry Allen
As countries the world over legislate to phase out petrol and diesel cars, attention is turning to the environmental impact of mining the materials needed for electric vehicle batteries.
This additional scrutiny has largely focused on ethical concerns with cobalt and lithium supply chains, despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s observation last year that the lithium ion batteries his vehicles use are mostly made of nickel and graphite, with lithium itself merely “the salt on the salad”.
But the extraction of nickel – predominately mined in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Russia and the Philippines – comes at an environmental and health cost.
Nickel mining: the hidden environmental cost of electric cars The extraction of nickel, mainly mined in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Russia and the Philippines, comes with environmental and health costs.
Nickel and nickel-containing materials play an important role in the technologies and applications that are helping achieve key environmental policy objectives, such as reducing carbon emissions. Even though nickel is an essential element for plants, as with all metals and chemicals, excessive amounts can adversely impact the quality of the environment for flora and fauna. This is why nickel is closely regulated and is subject to extensive assessments within a number of legislative frameworks.
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