Cobalt, atomic number 27 on the periodic table is a chemical element that is mainly found in Earth’s crust.
The metal is used for a variety of purposes, including making magnets, in gas turbine generators, in smartphones and electric vehicle batteries, to name a few.
Now, according to data from the Cobalt Institute, smartphones have been dethroned as the largest consumer of Cobalt, and electric vehicles’ lithium-ion batteries have taken the number one spot, via Financial Times and TeslaNorth.
According to the report, in 2021 alone, the electric vehicle battery industry used up about 59,000 tonnes of cobalt, which was about 34 percent of the total demand, whereas smartphones consumed about 26,000 tonnes of cobalt last year, accounting for roughly 15 percent of the total demand.
Further, the demand for cobalt isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. The electric vehicle industry is expected to consume about 50 percent of the global cobalt supply by 2026, which might slow down gadget manufacturing, similar to how the shortage of semiconductors has.
“Cobalt-containing batteries are a technology of choice for many car manufacturers in Europe, North America and China,” said Adam McCarthy, president of the Cobalt Institute, in a statement given to Financial Times.
Due to increasing demand from the automotive sector and supply disruptions, the price of cobalt doubled since last year, climbing from $16 per pound to $32 per pound.
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